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One COVID-19 death in B.C., 24 new cases over past two days

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 8:09 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Courtesy B.C. Government)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. recorded one COVID-19 death and 24 new cases over the past two days.

The death reported Monday happened in a long-term care facility in the Fraser Health Authority and brings the total in B.C. to 165, while cases are now at 2,597.

The recovery rate is 85 per cent.

No new outbreaks were announced, while 224 cases of the virus remain active in the province. Of those, 32 people remain in hospital, including five in intensive care.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer also reported that as schools reopened Monday, about a third of students in kindergarten to Grade 5 attended.

“I understand it’s been a good day so far, and so far in the school reopening, as you know, was purposely timed so that we were at the end of our first incubation period. And we’ve been slowly and cautiously proceeding with our restart,” she said.

“We have been monitoring things closely and precautions and safety measures are in place in schools around the province, and we are ready for this. I have confidence in knowing that we will continue to monitor carefully and to support our school communities around the province, and public health teams are ready to jump in.”

Henry reiterated that people must be vigilant to help stop the transmission of the virus.

“We know that there’s going to be, probably, sporadic cases as we’ve increased our contacts, and we need, in public health, to be prepared to detect them quickly, to trace the people that they’ve been in contact with, and to track people through that process of either the incubation period or their illness, so that we can do that safely and prevent the transmission,” she said.

The provincial health officer is expected to present new modelling data on Thursday.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said to be careful as large crowds increase the chances of catching COVID-19 after more than 1,000 people protested against racism and police brutality Sunday at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

RELATED: ‘Hate has no place in our province’: Officials commend stand against racism but warn against large gatherings

She told people who went to Sunday’s demonstration — called in solidarity with protests that have spread across the U.S. in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis — to watch their health closely for the next two weeks, and to get tested if they have symptoms.

“Hate has no place in our province and we have said that many times through this pandemic,” she said.

Henry added the virus continues to spread, even outside, whether chanting, yelling or talking closely.

“So those are risky behaviours, right now. And, yes, there is a possibility we could see spread from people,” she said. “Of course, it’s all a balancing of risks and we know that there is still transmission in our community. So it’s very important that people monitor themselves, and that when we look at these types of demonstrations, we consider both our risk in who we are, who we are around, who’s in our family, who’s in a bubble, the things that we do.”

Henry said the order banning mass gatherings of more than 50 people remains in place.