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‘We are getting close’: B.C. looks to ease restrictions as COVID-19 cases near 2,000

Click to play video 'B.C. health officials announce 50 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in 48-hour period' B.C. health officials announce 50 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in 48-hour period
Dr. Bonnie Henry announces confirmed 50 cases of COVID-19 in the province on Monday, April 27, bringing the provincial total to 1,998 in the latest updated since midday on Saturday.

B.C.’s provincial health officer says the province is making plans to ease restrictions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We are getting close to the point where we can open up,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday, noting that the majority of cases are linked to known outbreaks at specific locations, such as long-term care facilities.

Click to play video 'COVID-19: B.C. government beginning to talk about re-opening as cases stabilize' COVID-19: B.C. government beginning to talk about re-opening as cases stabilize
COVID-19: B.C. government beginning to talk about re-opening as cases stabilize

Henry made the announcement during her daily update on the province’s response to the pandemic, in which she reported 50 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths since her last report on Saturday.

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There are now 1,998 confirmed cases of the disease in the province, and 1,190 of those have fully recovered. The death toll now stands at 103.

Ninety-seven people are in hospital — an increase of one patient from Saturday — while 36 patients are in intensive care.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. poultry plant shows it’s ‘irresponsible’ to work sick: B.C. premier

There are now 25 test positive cases at a poultry processing plant in Coquitlam and another 34 cases at a second facility in East Vancouver.

Click to play video 'B.C.’s top doctor on ‘clear evidence’ COVID-19 public health measures are working' B.C.’s top doctor on ‘clear evidence’ COVID-19 public health measures are working
B.C.’s top doctor on ‘clear evidence’ COVID-19 public health measures are working

The number of cases at Mission Institution remains at 118: 106 inmates and 12 staff members.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. poultry plant shows it’s ‘irresponsible’ to work sick: B.C. premier

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An outbreak at a Langley care home has been declared over, Henry added, but two new cases have appeared at two care facilities in Abbotsford — Valhaven Home and MSA Manor.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak over at Langley Lodge, 2 new cases emerge at other long-term care homes

There are now 21 outbreaks at long-term care or assisted facilities and three outbreaks at acute care units, for a total of 389 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in such facilities.

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Eleven cases are linked to an industrial complex at Alberta’s Kearl Lake oilsands project.

Click to play video 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on ‘made in B.C.’ approach to reduce COVID-19 restrictions' Dr. Bonnie Henry on ‘made in B.C.’ approach to reduce COVID-19 restrictions
Dr. Bonnie Henry on ‘made in B.C.’ approach to reduce COVID-19 restrictions

Recent numbers indicate that social-distancing measures are working and the province is going to take a “made in B.C.” approach to easing restrictions, Henry said.

“We are taking the time to do them right and to meet the conditions that we have and we are experiencing here in B.C.,” she said.

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“Nobody wants to see a resurgence, so we are watching very carefully.”

Contact tracing, which tries to break the chain of transmission by identifying people who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, will be critical moving forward, she added.

“We cannot allow hot spots to flare up and to affect our communities.”