VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials announced 43 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, bringing the province’s total to 1,618.

Over the past 24 hours, no new deaths related to the novel coronavirus have been reported. In total, B.C. has seen 78 deaths since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Of the 1,618 confirmed cases of the virus, 119 people required hospitalization, 52 of which required critical care.

Meanwhile, 966 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. are now considered fully recovered.

Since Thursday, no new long-term care home outbreaks have been recorded. However, outbreaks continue at 20 long-term care homes, assisted-living facilities and an acute-care unit.

A significant outbreak at a correctional facility in Mission also continues.

“There are now 63 cases of COVID-19 associated with the Mission Institution federal correctional centre, six of whom are in hospital,” said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

“Fraser Health officials continue to work with Correctional Services Canada to manage this outbreak.”

On Friday morning, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix held a lengthy news conference that discussed new modelling of the virus’s trajectory in B.C.

The modelling showed that the growth of COVID-19 in the province was slowing, and that measures taken by British Columbians – like self-isolation and physical distancing – were making a dramatic difference in curbing the spread of the virus.

The data collected so far has health officials beginning to look at how to find “just the right amount of restrictions... to get our society moving again” without inviting a second surge of COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Henry noted that current restrictions would remain in effect for some time, however.

“We are in the eye of the storm in a Category 5 hurricane. The risk is still very high and there are many unknowns, but we are hopeful that with all of us standing strong, the storm will continue to lessen,” said Henry and Dix in a joint statement.

“Our new normal in the months ahead will be a modification of what we are doing now. The physical distancing measures, staying home if you are ill and following good hand hygiene will continue,” the pair said.

“People in B.C. have listened and done the right thing. We are grateful for what everyone has done.”