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New COVID-19 cases appear to be slowing

Health Minister urges people of faith not to celebrate upcoming religious holidays in large gatherings
'There has been some flattening of the curve in some areas' -- BC Health Minister Adrian Dix | BC Government

What happened: There have been 63 new COVID-19 cases since Saturday, and one additional death, but hospitalizations are slightly down.

Why It Matters: The lower hospitalization numbers and slowing percentage of new cases offer some hope that restrictions on movement and work may be bearing fruit.

In the last 48 hours, since the last report on Saturday, there have been 63 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,266. In the last couple of weeks, numbers of new cases have been higher in a 24-hour period than in the last 48-hour period.

"There has been some flattening of the curve in some areas," said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix.

There was one additional death -- the second in the general community (i.e. not in a long-term care home) -- a man in his 40s, according to public health officer Bonnie Henry. That brings the total death count to 39.

"It does go to show us that even younger people are not immune of COVID-19," Henry said.

Two COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a federal correction facility in Mission. It is the second correctional institute in B.C. to have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The number of hospitalizations are down slightly, from 149 on Saturday to 140 today. Of those infected with COVID-19, 783 have recovered.

There are 21 long-term care or assisted living facilities with confirmed active cases. There had been 24, but three now no longer have any active cases.

“Three of the previous ones have been declared over, which means there have been no cases for two incubation periods,” Henry said. “So that’s good news around that.”

Despite some promising signs that new cases of COVID-19 may be slowing, Henry warned that current restrictions on social activities, work and movement must be maintained.

"This is in the middle of our critical week here for COVID-19," Henry said. "We continue to see clusters and outbreaks in our communities and at facilities, and these hotspots are very concerning. They can quickly escalate and challenge our response -- our ability to keep things under control."

Dix expressed concerns about the coming long weekend, and urged people of faith not to hold large gatherings to celebrate Easter.

"This is not the time to come together in groups to celebrate," he said.

Dix said that B.C. now has 620 ventilators available for critical care beds.

As of April 3, more than 47,000 people had been tested for the virus.

Here are the numbers for April 6, compared with number from the last report on April 4 in brackets, which is a two-day period:

New COVID-19 cases:  63 (29)

BC Total: 1,266 (1,203)

Deaths: 39 (38)

Hospitalized: 140 (149)

Intensive care: 72 (68)

Recovered:783 (704)

Confirmed cases by region:

* Vancouver Coastal Health: 580

* Fraser Health: 450

* Island Health: 79

* Interior Health: 128

* Northern Health: 23

Canada-wide, there are 16,487 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 321 deaths. Some provinces have begun setting up checkpoints to restrict the movement of Canadians from other provinces. B.C. has not yet begun restricting non-essential travel from other provinces.

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