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.
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.
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.