Skip to main content

A flight crew, wearing masks, arrives on a direct flight from China, at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada January 24, 2020.JENNIFER GAUTHIER/Reuters

British Columbia has identified two new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing Canada’s total to date to seven.

The two new cases are linked to one announced earlier this week in B.C. On Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said a woman in her 50s had developed symptoms after receiving visitors from Wuhan, China; on Thursday, Dr. Henry confirmed the two new cases are those visitors.

“Having done the epidemiology and the investigation within that household, one of these individuals is very likely, and we’re quite confident, the source of the case that we announced on Tuesday here in B.C.,” Dr. Henry said.

First Canadian evacuation flight departs Wuhan, bound for CFB Trenton

These three remain in isolation at home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which includes Vancouver, Richmond, the North Shore, the Sunshine Coast, the Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

Cases are deemed presumptive positive, or presumptive confirmed, when local tests turn up positive for the virus. However, all samples must then be sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for official confirmation.

Also on Thursday, Dr. Henry said the province is now recommending that everyone who has recently travelled to Hubei province self-isolate at home for two weeks.

“What we’re asking people to do is stay away from work and keep children home from school for the 14-day incubation period,” she said, adding that this includes people who have come in close contact with others who were recently in Hubei.

“We’re also asking them to contact us in public health, and you can do that by calling your local public health office or by calling 811 and we’ll connect you with your local public health office. We can support you in how to do that, and how to monitor for symptoms, the types of things you might have questions about, about how to do this effectively.”

People who have recently travelled to other parts of China are asked to monitor closely for symptoms. Those with even mild, cold-like symptoms are advised to contact public health.

Translation services for 811 are available in 130 languages.

The four other Canadian cases are a man in his 40s, also in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, a woman in her 20s in London, Ont., and a husband and wife in Toronto.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.