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Man charged in hoax call to B.C. care home facing deadly COVID-19 outbreak

Click to play video 'Charges laid in COVID hoax at Lynn Valley care centre' Charges laid in COVID hoax at Lynn Valley care centre
Charges laid in COVID hoax at Lynn Valley care centre

The man accused of making a hoax phone call to the North Vancouver long-term care home at the centre of one of B.C.’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks has been charged.

The B.C. Prosecution Service confirmed Wednesday that twenty-six-year-old Taymour Aghati of Vancouver was charged last week with a single count of conveying false information with intent to injure.

Read more: B.C. care home at centre of COVID-19 outbreak was also target of hoax

North Vancouver arrested and released Aghati in July.

That month, the Lynn Valley Care Centre revealed it had been targeted with the hoax call in the early morning hours of March 8, which it said appeared to originate from health authorities.

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That was just hours after health officials publicly announced the outbreak at the facility — the first at a long-term care home in B.C.

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Click to play video 'Arrest in relation to Lynn Valley Care Centre ‘hoax’' Arrest in relation to Lynn Valley Care Centre ‘hoax’
Arrest in relation to Lynn Valley Care Centre ‘hoax’

At the time, the care centre said the call “deeply alarmed” staff, some of whom were “reluctant to come to work” as a result.

Read more: Their dads are quarantined with coronavirus in B.C. care homes. This is their message

Staff learned the next day that the call had been a hoax, but the care centre said that “a great deal of harm had already been done to our capacity to provide” care.

In the weeks to come, 79 people would contract COVID-19 at the home and 20 would die.

Aghati is due in North Vancouver Provincial Court on Oct. 1.