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B.C. records 29 new cases, one more death from COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- B.C. recorded 29 more cases of COVID-19 and one more death over the last 24 hours, provincial health officials announced Friday.
There are 73 patients with the virus currently in hospital, and of those, 20 are in critical care or ICU.
The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. now sits at 2,315, and the number of people considered to be fully recovered has risen to 1,579.
The latest death was recorded in the Fraser Health region and brings the total number of people who have died from the virus up to 127.
Friday's update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix came in a statement instead of a press conference.
"We must continue with what we have been doing, because it is working," the statement said. "We have flattened our curve and must keep it there."
No new outbreaks were detected in long-term care or assisted-living facilities, and outbreaks at 18 care facilities have now been declared over. There are 16 long-term care and five acute-care facilities with active cases of the virus.
There were no changes to the number of confirmed positive cases at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, United Poultry in Vancouver or at Mission Institution. The number of positive cases at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam now sits at 61, and there are 17 cases connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.
The majority of B.C.'s cases continue to be in the Lower Mainland, with 866 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,089 in the Fraser Health region. There are 180 cases in the Interior Health region, and 55 in Northern Health, as well as 125 in the Island Health region. Health officials said two cases were removed from Thursday's Island Health total because of a "data error."
Henry and Dix stressed that even as the province begins to ease its restrictions, nothing should change dramatically overnight, and until the province moves into "phase two" of its restart plan, existing orders, restrictions and guidance remain in place.
In the coming weeks, the mantra will be "few faces and big spaces," Henry said Thursday.
Additionally, Dix took to Twitter on Friday to ask British Columbians to follow what he described as "eight golden rules" that he hopes will help the province progress through its restart plan.
The rules include keeping contact numbers low and forgoing traditional social interactions like hugging or shaking hands, as well as considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing poses a challenge, such as riding public transit. Residents are also asked to minimize non-essential personal travel, practise good hygiene, stay at home and away from others if sick, and increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
With Mother's Day just around the corner, health officials also encouraged families to "stand together in spirit."
"For now, avoid any close contact, unless your mother is in your immediate household," health officials said. "And if your mother is older, awaiting surgery or has an underlying illness, celebrate at a safe distance. Give your mother the gift of staying safe and healthy."
The next update from health officials will come in a news conference on Saturday.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Alyse Kotyk and Ian Holliday