VICTORIA -- Over the past three days, six more people have died of COVID-19, B.C. health officials announced Monday.

The update B.C.’s total death toll to 219 since the pandemic began. One of the victims marked the first death related to COVID-19 in the Northern Health region. In total, five of the victims were residents of long-term care.

“Our thoughts and our condolences go out to the families, the communities, and the people who care (for them),” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Health officials also announced the discovery of 317 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. A total of 137 were discovered between Friday and Saturday, 119 were confirmed between Saturday and Sunday and 61 were found between Sunday and Monday.

There are now 1,594 active cases of COVID-19 across the province. Of those cases, 58 people are in hospital for treatment, including 16 people who require critical care.

No new health-care outbreaks were announced Monday while four outbreaks have been declared over.

There remain 13 active outbreaks in the health-care system.

Similarly, no new community outbreaks were declared by health officials Monday, though community exposure events continue to take place.

With smoke from U.S. wildfires smothering much of British Columbia, B.C.’s top doctor is recommending that residents avoid outdoor exercise “until the skies clear.”

Henry adds that wearing masks can help protect wearers from inhaling particles in the air.

“So (wearing masks) is something people should be doing while they are outside right now,” she said.

She added that the smoke may be causing some people to be unsure if they are feeling symptoms of COVID-19 or if they are simply struggling with the poor air quality.

While some physical reactions are similar, Henry says that symptoms like fever, chills and aches are more associated with COVID-19 than poor air inhalation.

Health officials continue to ask that British Columbians practice basic health measures like physical distancing, regular hand washing and staying home if feeling at all unwell.

“We can easily and inadvertently spread (COVID-19) to the people who are closest to us,” warned Henry.

Most of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases have been located in the province’s Lower Mainland, with 2,557 discovered in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 3,754 reported in the Fraser Health region.

Elsewhere in the province, the Interior Health region has reported 473 cases of coronavirus while the Northern Health region has confirmed 216.

The Island Health region has reported 195 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, an increase of five since Friday.

As of Monday, a total of 5,446 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C.