VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials announced three more deaths and 53 new case of COVID-19 in the province since Saturday.

Thirty-four of the new cases were discovered Saturday and 19 were recorded Sunday, bringing the province’s total to 2,224.

The three new deaths bring the province’s total deaths to 117.

Monday’s briefing also covered B.C.’s most recent COVID-19 modelling data.

The data covered the average ages of those who were infected with the illness, and the average age of those who required hospitalization and critical care.

The majority of COVID-19 cases in B.C. have been recorded in people between the ages of 30 to 60. Most of those cases were found in women.

However, the majority of people who required hospitalization for treatment of the novel coronavirus were aged 70 or older. Meanwhile, most people who require hospitalization are men, a phenomenon that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says is being seen across the world.

Henry warned that while older age groups were more likely to require hospitalization, younger people should not assume they are immune to the virus.

“We are seeing people as young as 20 and 30 who do require hospitalization,” she said.

In the health care system, 428 health workers had tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 28.

Of those cases, 374, or 85 per cent, fully recovered from the virus. Meanwhile, 33 health-care workers had to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus, 13 of which required intensive care.

One health-care worker had died from COVID-19 as of April 28.

As the province looks towards lifting some restrictions, health officials presented several possible scenarios Monday.

According to Dr. Henry, current health guidelines and overall compliance has British Columbians interacting with other people at roughly 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Should restrictions be eased from the current 30 per cent level to roughly 40 per cent, B.C. would continue to see COVID-19 cases decline near its present rates.

If restrictions were to be eased by up to 60 per cent, Dr. Henry says that more cases would be seen, but “would be manageable” for the health-care system.

If restrictions were lifted up to 80 per cent, so that interactions were similar to levels in December 2019, B.C. would see an exponential and unmanageable rise in COVID-19 cases.

Henry says it is these different models that are guiding the province’s plans on reopening.

“We must find that right balance to protect lives and suppress transmission to the lowest rate possible,” she said.

Henry adds that it is still unknown if B.C. will see a second “resurgence” in COVID-19 cases in the fall, during regular influenza season.

Health guidelines like practising physical distancing and avoiding non-essential travel continue to be the best ways of stopping the spread of COVID-19, Henry said.

She said that British Columbians’ overall compliance has “allowed us to put the brakes on COVID-19,” adding, “but we haven’t stopped the car.”

“Until we have all the pieces, we need to continue to do what we’re doing now because we know it works.”