For a fourth straight day, no new COVID-19 deaths

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VICTORIA - Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are announcing 10 new COVID-19 confirmed positive cases and one new epi-linked case, for a total of 2,756 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 172 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,416 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 11 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 940 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,425 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 196 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 168 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been a new health-care facility outbreak at the Maple Hill long-term care facility at Langley Memorial Hospital in the Fraser Health region. In total, five long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks. Public health teams continue to provide support for the five ongoing community outbreaks.

"As we continue to gradually ease restrictions, our objective is to keep COVID-19 low and slow. To do this, we are being thoughtful and measured in our response, opening what is safe to open and keeping closed what is risky.

"We know that closed spaces, close contact and crowds are higher risk, so anything that involves these things will continue to have restrictions.

"Grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses remained open with precautions. Once we flattened our curve, restaurants, retail stores, schools and many other businesses got back underway.

"Looking ahead, as we continue to slowly progress, other business sectors, like spas and resorts, as well as recreational sports, will also be able to safely restart. But the same precautions businesses have taken to protect employees, customers and themselves today will still apply.

"What also stays the same are the personal measures we are all following to keep ourselves safe and protect those we care for most. These are our foundations and our path forward.

"We know that a family gathering in someone's home, a nightclub or even a choir practice puts people close together inside for an extended period of time, which significantly increases the risk of transmission.

"It is far easier to maintain a safe physical distance from four people than 40. It is also much faster for public health teams to complete contact tracing when there are only a few people to alert to potential exposure.

"Our most effective way to manage COVID-19 in our communities is to work together, to take care of each other and do our part. This is not forever, but it is certainly for now and until we have the means to fully stop COVID-19."