B.C. health officials announce 4 more COVID-19 deaths
VICTORIA -- Four more people have died of COVID-19 in British Columbia, bringing the provincial death toll from the novel coronavirus to 121, health officials announced Tuesday.
The deaths were announced the same day that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed that just eight new cases of COVID-19 had been found in the past 24 hours, the lowest number of new daily cases of the virus in B.C. since mid-March.
Three of the deaths occurred in the Fraser Health region and one in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
"What I need to remind everybody is that we are not yet through this," Henry said at a news conference in Victoria, calling the current moment in B.C. "the end of our beginning."
There have been 2,232 cases of COVID-19 recorded in B.C. since the outbreak began.
The majority of cases have been found in the Fraser Health region, with 1,031 cases, followed by the Vancouver Coastal Health region, with 849.
Elsewhere in the province, the Island Health region has seen 124 cases, the Interior has recorded 177 cases and the Northern Health region has seen 51 cases.
There remain outbreaks at 22 long-term care facilities in B.C., including two in acute care facilities in Maple Ridge and Richmond.
There are 442 people in the province's health-care system with COVID-19, including 171 staff.
"We have put the brakes on it, for sure," Henry said. "But we have not yet stopped this train. And as the modelling has shown, moving too quickly can undo all of the work we have done. We must continue to hold the line on COVID-19 even as we gradually ease some restrictions in the weeks ahead."
A COVID-19 outbreak continues at the federal Mission Institution prison in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, where 121 inmates and 13 staff have been infected.
A total of 78 people are in hospital with the virus, including 21 in critical and acute care.
Health officials said Tuesday that 1,472 people in B.C. have recovered from the virus.
Henry reminded British Columbians to wash their hands, cover their coughs and keep physical distance from those not within one's immediate family.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday he believes this summer "will be a summer of renewal" as British Columbia returns to some normalcy post-COVID-19.
Both Dix and Henry will be joined by B.C. Premier John Horgan Wednesday as the province announces its plans to begin reopening to businesses and social interactions in the coming weeks.