57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Island Health; B.C. death toll rises to 16

There have been two more deaths in British Columbia as a result of the novel coronavirus and the government says staff members at two more long-term care homes have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A statement from the B.C. government says there were 67 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday for a total of 792. There were five new cases in Island Health's jurisdiction, bringing the total to 57.

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There were 73 people in hospital, while 275 patients have recovered and no longer need to be in isolation.

Eleven long-term care homes in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the government has said that is where the majority of the 16 deaths have occurred.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says self-isolation and physical distancing can flatten the curve in the growth in cases and slow the spread of the virus.

B.C. has prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people in one place.

"In the past few days, our upward path has been less severe than other places, but we continue to see steady increases in community transmission cases and continue to be concerned about outbreaks, which could quickly grow and challenge our pandemic response," says a joint statement from Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

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