VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the province’s total to 2,597 since the pandemic began.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also announced one more death related to the virus, bringing the province’s total to 165.

Monday’s update covered the 48-hour period from Saturday to Monday.

Nine of the new cases were confirmed between Saturday and Sunday and 15 of the cases were recorded between Sunday and Monday.

There are currently 224 active cases of COVID-19 across the province. Of those cases, 32 people were in hospital for treatment, including five people in critical care.

No new outbreaks have occurred in the health-care system or in the community over the past two days. However, the two dozen new cases recorded over the weekend still demonstrate that the novel coronavirus is present in B.C., according to Henry.

“This does tell us that there is still transmission in our communities across the province and that we are not completely over this yet,” she said Monday. 

While no new outbreaks have been recorded, 13 active outbreaks continue in the province. Twelve of the outbreaks are at long-term care and assisted-living facilities, and one outbreak is at an acute-care unit in hospital.

Meanwhile, an outbreak at the Clayton Heights retirement home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region has now been declared over.

With civil unrest erupting across the United States, Henry commented on a recent protest held in Vancouver. Thousands of people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery to support the Black Lives Matter movement on Sunday.

Dix said that B.C’s ban on large gatherings is still in place, and Henry encouraged anyone who participates in any future demonstration to practise physical distancing as much as possible and to wear non-medical masks.

“Weigh your impacts particularly if you are a health-care worker or have vulnerable people in your household,” she said. “You may have put yourself at risk and you may have brought that home, so you need to monitor yourself carefully.”

Anyone who may experience symptoms of COVID-19 is required to self-isolate and contact their regional health authority to get tested for the virus, said Henry.

“I saw many people wearing masks and keeping their safe distances yesterday,” she said. “Please continue to keep that safe distance.”

Health officials also commented on students’ voluntary return to classrooms Monday.

Henry said that she had confidence in the education and health-care systems, and that measures were in place to keep students and staff safe at schools.

“We are ready for this,” she said. “I have confidence in knowing that we will continue to monitor and support communities across the province.”

As students return to schools, many people are also returning to work as B.C. continues to unroll the second phase of its restart plan.

Dix stressed that both students and workers should consider their health before leaving their home and to avoid going out if they are feeling at all unwell.

B.C.’s top doctor also encouraged British Columbians to wear non-medical masks on public transit, if possible, to reduce transmission of the virus.

Despite the mass gathering on Sunday, health officials say that most British Columbians are re-engaging with the community at a positive pace.

The province’s restart plan is “going as well as I’d hoped – slowly,” said Henry.

Dix added that most residents are being “very supportive of one another” and are providing each other enough space while out in the community.

The majority of COVID-19 cases are located in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. There are 904 confirmed cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,307 reported in the Fraser Health region.

Elsewhere in the province, there are 127 confirmed cases in the Island Health region, 195 in the Interior Health region and 64 recorded in the Northern Health region.

In total, 2,207 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 in B.C.