A man wears a protective face mask as he walks past the emergency department of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. Friday, April 3, 2020. New data finds emergency department visits dropped by 25 per cent in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A man wears a protective face mask as he walks past the emergency department of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. Friday, April 3, 2020. New data finds emergency department visits dropped by 25 per cent in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

63 British Columbians in hospital battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Ninety-seven more British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours

Ninety-seven more British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, as health officials continue to see a surge in hospitalizations due to the novel coronavirus, as well as outbreaks.

“There are 1,590 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,001 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 5,548 people who tested positive have recovered,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement Tuesday (Sept. 15).

Of those active confirmed cases, 63 people are in hospital, 20 of whom are intensive care. The rest are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Health officials said there were no new deaths reported since Monday afternoon, leaving the total number of lives lost due to the contagious respiratory disease at 219 in the province.

Henry and Dix confirmed one new outbreak at a health-care facility, Opal by Element in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, meaning there are 11 ongoing outbreaks at long-term care or assisted-living facilities in the province, and a further three at acute care facilities.

Health officials have been urging British Columbians to “stick to six,” meaning to keep their pandemic bubble to six people and monitor closely for symptoms that could mean they have COVID-19.

“There is much that we know about COVID-19 and much that we continue to learn each day. What we do know is that now is the time for all of us to take a step back so we can move forward safely. To do this, we need to do our part to break the chains of transmission in B.C.,” the statement reads.

“We must hold steady with our layers of protection. From keeping safe distances, to washing our hands, staying home, and staying away from others when we are ill and have symptoms of COVID-19, we must all do our part. And if we do have symptoms, contact 811 to arrange to get tested.”

READ ALSO: 57% of Canadians say they’ve relaxed COVID-19 safety measures: poll


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