British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

The first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19, has been confirmed in the Interior Health region, according to B.C. health officials.

The most recent patient to contract the virus, a woman in her 30s, had recently travelled back to B.C. from Shanghai, chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced during a news conference in Vancouver on Friday.

She landed at the Vancouver International Airport before travelling in a private vehicle to her home in the Interior Health region, which includes Kamloops, the Okanagan, the Kootenays and Cariboo. She has self isolated herself in her home.

The woman was around “a very small number of close contacts,” Henry said.

READ MORE: B.C. asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ when screening for coronavirus

There have now been five people from B.C. who have have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, the first B.C. patient to be confirmed with the virus could soon be released from isolation. That patient, a man in his 40s, visited Wuhan before travelling back to B.C. in late January. On Feb. 14, health officials tested the man for the virus which came back negative.

“The criteria we have for releasing someone from isolation is two negative tests 24 hours apart,” Henry said, adding that the other people who contracted the virus are in stable condition.

READ MORE: No plans to set up coronavirus quarantine site in B.C. – for now

Officials at Interior Health could not provide any information on the COVID-19 case other that what was released from the provincial government.

As of Friday, China’s National Health Commission confirmed just shy of 64,000 total cases, with a death toll of 1,380.


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