Updated: Second Metro Vancouver poultry processor has COVID-19 outbreak

Outbreak at Coquitlam processor is second discovered outbreak announced in the past four days

Two Metro Vancouver poultry processing facilities have active outbreaks of COVID-19 that have been announced in the last four days.

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed April 23 that Superior Poultry Processors Ltd. in Coquitlam has an outbreak with two cases of the virus that has caused a global pandemic. That follows her April 20 announcement that there is an outbreak at the United Poultry Co. in East Vancouver, where there are 29 people infected.

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She described Superior Poultry Processors as a sister company to United Poultry Co. as she said it is under the same over-arching ownership but a different management structure. Some employees work at both companies, Henry said.

"The investigation is ongoing but it does look like there is likely to be others who are in the new facility as well who are ill," she said. "These are the chains of transmission that we find."

The Tri-City News reported earlier today that Fraser Health had locked down Superior Poultry Processors but no officials had yet confirmed that that site was indeed one where there is a COVID-19 outbreak. A similar lockdown has taken place at United Poultry Co.

The poultry-processing plant outbreaks in B.C. follow outbreaks at Alberta's Cargill and JBS meat-packing plants. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that outbreaks at meat-packing plants could prompt beef prices to rise. It is unclear whether the shutdowns at the poultry-processing plants will prompt a jump in chicken prices.

New outbreaks were also reported in two hospitals: Ridge Meadows Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital. There is also one new seniors' care home with an outbreak: Hawthorn Park – Orchard Manor in Kelowna, where one employee is infected. The new outbreak at a seniors' home brings the total number of cases connected with care homes or acute-care facilities to 347, including 217 residents and 130 workers.

Overall, there were 29 new infections discovered in the past 24 hours, and a total of 1,824 cases determined since January.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by health region are:

• 755 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

• 760 in Fraser Health;

• 111 in Island Health;

• 156 in Interior Health; and

• 42 in Northern Health.

The number of hospitalizations has stayed flat, at 103, during the past 24 hours, and 44 of those people are in intensive care units.

Almost 60% of those infected in B.C., or 1,092 people, have recovered.

Four people have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, for a total of 94 deaths in B.C. from the global pandemic that has shut down much of the economy.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

 

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