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B.C. confirms 45 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 231

There have been been no new deaths.
Dr. Bonnie Henry live update Photo Screengrab

There are now 231 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C., after health officials announced 45 new cases Tuesday.  

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 144 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region, 58 in the Fraser Health region, 16 on Vancouver Island Health and nine in the Interior Health region and four in Northern Health. 

There have been no new deaths. 

There are 13 people in hospital and seven are in intensive care. Five continue to be recovered, meaning that they've had two consecutive negative tests.

"These are extraordinary times, as we know," Henry stated as she began the conference.

"We are asking people to take additional steps to protect our communities."

Henry notes that the next seven to 10 days are crucial to try to stop the transmission of the virus and to flatten out the curve. 

"We talked about yesterday the importance of coming together as a community. We'll get through the next few weeks together," she said.

Around businesses, Henry noted that they may need enhanced cleaning protocol to ensure that they meet new safety requirements. In addition, they'll have to determine how to will implement social distancing measures, which may mean that only a limited number of people are allowed into a building at a given time.

Health Minister Adrian Dix commented that most patients are in stable condition at home. 

 "We must continue to be calm, continue to be safe," he said. 

Dix also emphasized the need for more blood donations.

Yesterday, Henry noted that people should consult the new online assesment tool if they aren't sure if they require further testing or assessment for COVID-19. She also underscored the importance of physical distancing, hand washing, covering your mouth if you cough, not touching your face and staying home if you are sick. 

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth also declared a provincial state of emergency today.

"What today's declaration allows for is a province-wide approach to backup the provincial health emergency declaration that was made yesterday by Dr. Bonnie Henry," said Farnworth. 

The announcement comes one day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

- With files from the Richmond News.

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