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B.C. records two more COVID-19 deaths, 16 new cases on eve of province's reopening

Last Updated May 18, 2020 at 5:16 pm PDT

FILE - Dr. Bonnie Henry during a provincial update on COVID-19 on April 6, 2020.

In a 48-hour period, two people in long-term care have died in the province

Sixteen new cases have been recorded, but the recovery rate continues to climb and hospitalizations are down

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there is a risk of a 'flare up' of new cases as restrictions are lifted, urges continued vigilance

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The recovery rate from COVID-19 in B.C. is at 80 per cent and the number of people hospitalized is the lowest it has been since mid-March, according to Monday’s update from health officials.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix reported 16 new cases of the virus over the last 48 hours.

Two more people in long-term care have died.

Forty-seven people across the province remain in hospital, 12 of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit.

There have been no new outbreaks in the community or in healthcare facilities, however, outbreaks persis at 19 facilities.

The update comes on the eve of the start of Phase 2 of the province’s reopening.

“With the easing of restrictions and the added social interaction, the potential for a flare up in new cases does go up, and we have seen that in other places around the world,” Henry warns.

She says public health officials will be “watching very carefully,” adding testing and contact-tracing will remain urgent priorities.

“We all have to move carefully and stay alert. Every day we can –and must– do our part to continue to hold the line on COVID-19,” she says.

“Pause, and think about how you are going to keep yourself safe.”

Henry recommends people consider wearing non-medical face masks in situations where physical distancing may pose a challenge, like on transit or in smaller shops.

Plans to keep oneself and one’s family safe as restrictions are lifted will vary, she notes, according to vulnerability.

“If you do have someone in your family who is undergoing cancer treatments, if you have someone in your family who is ill, if you have elderly members of your family who are anxious and concerned, you may need to take more precautions.”

“Only you know your own risk for your family.”