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B.C. reports 1 more COVID-19 death as officials brace for impact of reopening
A technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP / John Minchillo)
VANCOUVER -- The impact of B.C.'s partial reopening on the province's COVID-19 caseload should become clearer over the next week, health officials said Wednesday while announcing one more death and nine new infections from the virus.
The latest numbers from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix bring the province's death toll to 162 and the total number of infections identified since the start of the pandemic to 2,550.
"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic," Henry and Dix said in a joint statement.
The number of recoveries also outnumbered new infections, continuing a downward trend in active COVID-19 cases that the province has been enjoying for several weeks.
Officials said another 22 people have been cleared of the virus since Tuesday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,144. That leaves 244 active cases, which is the lowest level seen since March 19.
But British Columbia entered the second phase of its pandemic response on May 19, allowing a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to hair salons to begin welcoming customers inside again, and the impact on infections has yet to be seen.
"COVID-19 has a two-week incubation period, which means any new cases that are a result of the easing of restrictions will start to appear over the coming week," Henry and Dix said.
"With this in mind, let’s continue to take advantage of parks and other activities closer to home, and look to increase social interactions only after fully considering the risks to you and your family."
Officials had no new outbreaks to report either in health-care settings or the community, but health workers are still battling outbreaks in 14 seniors' homes and one acute care unit.
The number of hospitalizations remained unchanged from Tuesday, with 37 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care or critical care units.