4 more dead of COVID-19 in B.C., 12 new cases
VICTORIA -- Four more people have died of COVID-19 in British Columbia, health officials announced Monday, bringing the virus's death toll in the province to 161.
The four deaths recorded since Saturday afternoon all occurred in long-term care homes, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
The provincial health officer also announced 12 new cases of coronavirus in B.C., five of which were recorded Sunday and seven recorded by Monday afternoon, bringing B.C.'s total cases since the outbreak began to 2,530.
Most of the cases have been found in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, with 1,253 found in the Fraser Health region and 894 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 127 cases in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior and 62 cases in the Northern Health region.
On Friday, one new case was reported in the Island Health region by way of the Kearl Lake oilsands facility in Alberta. That person completed self-isolation in Alberta before coming home to B.C. and is considered fully recovered.
Across the province, there are 267 active cases of COVID-19, with 37 people in hospital and seven of them in critical or intensive care.
Approximately 2,102 people who have contracted the virus in B.C. are now considered fully recovered.
As businesses reopen across the province, Henry reminded British Columbians to maintain physical distance from one another as much as possible.
"We need to keep our curve flat – as flat as we possibly can – as we look to ease more restrictions later this summer," Henry said. "We will be watching especially closely over the coming week."
The provincial health officer said she is heartened by the success British Columbia has had with minimizing the transmission of the virus so far.
Henry said she is also pleased by the high demand for B.C. campsite reservations on Monday, something she attributed to British Columbians' commitment to enjoying the outdoors while staying close to home.
"We are taking to heart that need to stay close to home this summer and to experience all of the many beautiful places in our province," Henry said.
The provincial health officer also called the federal government's new push to increase sick leave for Canadian workers a positive step.
"I think that's very good news and I think that is something that will help all of us in terms of preventing infection in workplaces," Henry said.
Health Minister Adrian Dix echoed Henry's sentiment on sick leave and credited B.C. Premier John Horgan for bringing the issue to national attention.
"People shouldn't go to work sick," Dix said. "And that's why British Columbia Premier Horgan has taken the lead at a national level in driving this issue and we were very pleased with the prime minister's recognition of that this morning."