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No new COVID-19 deaths in B.C., as number hospitalized hits 11-week low

What data about the coronavirus’s spread in B.C. could mean for Phase 3 of the re-opening.
WATCH: What data about the coronavirus's spread in B.C. could mean for Phase 3 of the re-opening. Legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey has more on why the province is reporting nine new cases Thursday, but that actually includes some that haven't been confirmed through testing.

The number of British Columbians in hospital with the novel coronavirus has fallen to an 11-week low.

Just 26 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 remain in hospitals, officials announced Thursday — the lowest number since March 20.

Six of those patients are in intensive care.

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The province announced nine additional cases of COVID-19 Thursday, and no new deaths.

Five of the cases were new within the last 24 hours, and determined through testing, while four are “epidemiologically-linked” cases.

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Those cases, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained, are people who were in close contact with someone who tested positive, and developed symptoms, but never received a test.

Henry said the province has been tracking such cases since the start of its Phase 2 plan on May 19, and that all four epidemiologically-linked cases have since recovered.

As of Thursday, more than 86 per cent of B.C.’s 2,632 patients have recovered, while the province’s death toll stands at 166.

There were no new cases or new deaths in residential care facilities, Thursday.

However, province has confirmed one new community outbreak at the Beresford Warming Shelter, a facility for the homeless in Burnaby.

Henry said “most” of the three cases involved staff members, and that Fraser Health was investigating.

The province continues to chip away at a backlog of about 30,000 scheduled surgeries that were cancelled earlier this spring to free up hospital beds for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix said hospitals performed more than 5,000 surgeries this week.

However, the province has made little progress in the last two weeks in implementing its order barring health-care staff from working at multiple facilities.

Thirty-three facilities, accounting for 383 workers, have yet to implement the order, said Dix.

B.C. health officials also unveiled new epidemic modelling, Thursday.

READ MORE: 22 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., but more outbreaks end at care homes

Earlier Thursday, the federal government announced a new one-time, $300 COVID-19 support payment for seniors in July.

New federal modelling on Thursday also projected up to 9,400 coronavirus deaths nationally by mid-June.

That death toll remains heavily driven by fatalities in Ontario and Quebec.

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