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B.C. reports 16 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths over 48 hours
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia has recorded 16 new cases of COVID-19 since the last update from health officials on Saturday, with just eight positive tests per 24-hour period.
Monday's announcement by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix brings the total number of cases identified across the province to 2,444.
Henry also revealed another 34 people have recovered from the virus since their last briefing, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,966. There are now just 335 active cases in the province, the lowest number since March 20.
But officials said another two people have died from COVID-19 as well, bringing B.C.'s death toll to 143.
"Both of these people were in long-term care, one in the Fraser Health region and one in Vancouver Coastal Health," Dr. Henry said. "Our condolences go to their families and their care teams and their communities."
There are currently 47 people in hospital, including 12 who are in intensive care. Health workers are also continuing to battle 19 active outbreaks at long-term care homes, assisted living facilities and acute care units in B.C., though the outbreak at Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam has been declared over.
Henry and Dix both took a moment during the briefing to acknowledge Sunday's fatal plane crash involving a Canadian Forces Snowbirds aircraft in Kamloops. Capt. Jennifer Casey of Halifax was killed, and the pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, was injured after ejecting from a plane that crashed into a home.
Dix noted that the Snowbirds were on a national tour called Operation Inspiration that was intended to lift Canadians' spirits during the COVID-19 crisis.
"What happened yesterday was awful for all involved," the minister said. "We send out our condolences, really the sorrow of everyone in B.C."
On Tuesday, B.C. continues the transition to the second phase of its pandemic response. Some businesses have already reopened, and many people have already expanded their social circles beyond their own household for the first time since March.
Dr. Henry urged people to continue being responsible and thoughtful to avoid reversing all the progress the province has made in combating the spread of the virus. As stores open back up and people begin socializing more, "the potential for a flare up in new cases does go up," Henry said.
"We have seen that in places around the world," she added. "Every day we can and must do our part to hold the line on COVID-19."
She urged people to show patience for one another as everyone works to adjust to the complicated new guidelines, and especially to keep washing their hands, cover their mouths when they cough and stay home while sick, without exception.