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11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. and no new deaths, Haro Park Centre outbreak declared over

WATCH: B.C. health officials provide Saturday coronavirus update

British Columbia health officials declared one of the province’s earliest and worst outbreaks of COVID-19 at a long-term care home over Saturday, as it announced 11 new cases of the virus around the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the outbreak at Haro Park Centre has officially been cleared, as had another outbreak at the Evergreen House.

Haro park saw at least 89 cases and 13 deaths from COVID-19.

READ MORE: List of seniors’ homes and health-care facilities at centre of B.C.’s coronavirus outbreak

For the second day in a row, the province announced no new deaths — a milestone not registered since early March.

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B.C. has now recorded 2,573 test-positive cases of the virus, nearly 85 per cent of whom have recovered.

Of the remaining 228 active cases in B.C., 35 people were in hospital and five in intensive care.

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On Friday, B.C. reported just four new cases of COVID-19, and no new deaths.

Henry said there were also no new community outbreaks Saturday.

“In the last few days, the number of new cases have continued to remain low, and this is, as you know, in the second week of our restart, and that is very good news, that’s very encouraging,” said Henry.

But she warned that transmission between individuals in the community is still happening.

Summer camps cancelled

With that in mind, Henry issued a new public health order closing overnight camps this summer for children and youth.

“Such camps often have large numbers of children coming from many different areas, campers and counsellors, and they often take place in more remote areas,” said Henry.

“Physical distancing is very much a challenge in these situations. I know that’s a disappointment.”

Parents are being encouraged to look at summer day camps as an alternative, where physical distancing is more practical.

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Another option will be kids sports, which Henry said she expects will be able to resume safely in the weeks to come, though with some key differences.

“We need to minimize the number of people on the sidelines, make sure they can have physical distancing, minimize the contact parts,” said Henry.

Guidance for sports organizations will be published in the coming days, she said.

Bubble trouble

British Columbians hoping to more rapidly expand their social circles had their bubble burst Saturday, with Henry saying the province was in no rush to change its guidance on the matter.

Under Phase 2 of B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, residents were told they could expand their social bubbles to between two and six people.

“The expansion of our social circles really has to be taken in the context of your own situation and that of your family,” said Henry.

People heading back to work, school or who live with seniors or immunocompromised people, may not even want to expand their social bubbles at all, Henry said.

Others will have to make do with a relatively small bubble, at least for now, said Henry — pointing to a recent community outbreak in Saskatoon linked to a pair of large family gatherings as a “cautionary tale.”

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“Right now, we need to hold those limits small, and we see that this can spread very quickly if we’re not careful that way, so I don’t see that changing in the short term.”

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