No active COVID-19 cases in Northern Health

There were no active cases of COVID-19 in Northern Health as of Thursday, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The running total for the region held steady at 65 for the 10th day in a row.

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As of Monday, there had been just one active case in the region and the person was not in hospital. In all 14 people in Northern Health have been hospitalized since the outbreak began and all of them have recovered.

For the province as a whole, the number of active cases rose by five over the past day to 190 with 10 in hospital and five of them in intensive care. No new deaths were reported. Just one death from the virus has been recorded in the past 12 days, Health Minister Adrian Dix noted during a press briefing Thursday.

No deaths have been recorded for Northern Health.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry continued to preach caution.

"We have done an amazing job here in British Columbia bending our curve but we have not yet, and nor is it likely that we will be able to eliminate the virus completely from our communities in the near term," she said during a press briefing.

"I said this before and it continues to be incredibly important for all of us - whether at home, at a family event or at school - we must continue our vigilance and we must continue to monitor ourselves for even minor symptoms.

"And always, always stay home, stay away from others, stay home from work, stay home from school, even if you are an essential worker, stay home even if you are mildly ill right now and get tested."

She said testing is available everywhere in B.C. "Call 811 and they will direct you on where you can get done," Henry said.

Henry defended the precautions taken at long-term care facilities saying it's been shown that the elderly are the most vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Outsiders have been banned from those homes for the time being.

"If the virus gets into those settings, it can spread undetected and rapidly, and that has led to so much of the tragedy that we have seen with deaths from this virus," she said. "We understand that the restrictions on visitors in particular come with a very high cost, both for the residents and for their families and loved ones. We know how hard this is.

"Every person who enters a facility increases the likelihood that this virus may enter with them regardless of the safety and precautions that are taken. We need to take that into account."

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