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Why is B.C. starting to flatten the curve while other provinces aren’t? Some of it may be luck

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie urges British Columbians to ‘hold the line’ to stop spread of COVID-19' Dr. Bonnie urges British Columbians to ‘hold the line’ to stop spread of COVID-19
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds British Columbians to continue to work hard to "break the chains of transmission" of the coronavirus and also resources to help support mental health during this stressful time. – Apr 6, 2020

B.C. health officials have expressed cautious optimism that the province is “bending” the curve of COVID-19 cases and credit part of the success to luck and timing.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 63 new cases of the illness on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 1,266.

Henry also noted the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has dropped by nine to 140 since the last update on Saturday.

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Those numbers come at a time when provinces such as Ontario and Quebec have experienced substantial spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases.

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Henry said the province’s promising numbers stem from finding early cases of community transmission and implementing restrictive measures that were sparked, in part, by reports from provinces with an earlier spring break.

March break in Quebec and Ontario occurred two weeks earlier than in B.C., Henry said, and both provinces experienced reports of spring break travellers falling ill after returning from destinations like France, where the virus had taken hold.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 restrictions not likely to be relaxed anytime soon' COVID-19 restrictions not likely to be relaxed anytime soon
COVID-19 restrictions not likely to be relaxed anytime soon – Apr 4, 2020

On the Friday before most B.C. schools went on March break, Henry formally banned large gatherings and told to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. Not long after the start of spring break, the province indefinitely suspended all kindergarten to Grade 12 classes.

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Henry was quick to point out that now is not the time for the province to rest on its laurels as the coming days are critical in the fight against COVID-19.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS — How Dr. Bonnie Henry’s COVID-19 briefings have become must-see TV

“Our percentage of new cases, as you can see, has been slowing,” she said. “It’s been bending and that’s really important and it’s testament to the effort that everybody here in British Columbia has been making over these past few weeks.

“But we must keep that firewall strong.”

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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