Brucejack mine in northwestern B.C. is the latest site of an industrial cluster of COVID-19 cases. (Smithers Interior News)

Brucejack mine in northwestern B.C. is the latest site of an industrial cluster of COVID-19 cases. (Smithers Interior News)

Northern B.C. gold mine latest industrial site to deal with COVID-19

B.C. reports 445 more coronavirus cases province-wide Friday

The COVID-19 situation in B.C.’s health care and senior care system is improving, as public health officials deal with the latest industrial cluster of cases at a gold mine in the remote northwest.

Mine officials and the Northern Health Authority identified 14 infections among employees and contractors at Brucejack Mine, which has restricted travel to contain the spread of infection.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported Friday that there are 445 new cases across B.C. up to Feb. 12, and 10 additional deaths for a total of 1,288 attributed to the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began early last year.

There are 226 people in hospital with COVID-19, down from 230 on Thursday, 61 of them in intensive care, down from 66 on Thursday. The new case totals are 218 in Fraser Health, 135 in Vancouver Coastal, 44 in Interior Health, 30 in Northern Health and 15 on Vancouver Island.

Henry said the vaccination of staff and residents in senior care is “trending in the right direction” and the results are showing in outbreaks. There are 16 active outbreaks in long-term care and and assisted living facilities, and six more in acute-care wards.

There are new outbreaks at University of Northern B.C. Hospital in Prince George and Chartwell Carrington Place in Vernon, and several outbreaks have been declared over, including at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. One of the most tragic outbreaks at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George has been declared over, after 17 residents died.

RELATED: Brucejack Mine restrictions in place for 28 days

RELATED: Stricter Canadian border controls to start Feb. 22


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