VANCOUVER – Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officials announced that the first individual confirmed to have COVID-19 in B.C. has recovered. This is indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart.
The four remaining B.C. patients with COVID-19 are recovering in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public-health teams. The fifth case identified on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, was confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Over the next few days, Health Canada will begin releasing repatriated Canadians from 14 days of quarantine in Trenton, Ont. Fourteen days is believed to be the longest incubation period for COVID-19. These individuals will no longer be required to self-isolate or take any additional precautionary measures, beyond those measures that help protect them from other respiratory illnesses at this time of year.
Public-health teams in B.C. have connected with other returning travellers to assess and monitor them for symptoms. At this time, Westerdam travellers require 14 days of self-isolation at home.
Public-health teams continue to be active in the community, supporting those who have self-isolated, or may be concerned about symptoms to ensure they are being assessed, tested and cared for. These teams also undertake the important tasks of monitoring the four confirmed cases and providing daily symptom checks for close contacts who are self-isolating.
In addition, public-health teams actively investigate the travel history of confirmed cases and contact people at risk of exposure to ensure they are isolated, if needed, and monitored for symptoms.
The risk of this virus spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and will notify the public if the measures in B.C. change.