People walk past a COVID-19 testing area in Burnaby, B.C. Wednesday, April 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Number of COVID-19 deaths in B.C. rise to 35, while hospitalizations fall

B.C. has 498 active confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

B.C. has recorded four more deaths due to COVID-19 but has also seen a reprieve in the number of patients in hospital because of the novel coronavirus.

B.C.’s health officials announced 53 new confirmed cases of the virus during a news conference on Friday (April 3), bringing the total number of active confirmed cases to 498. There have been 35 fatalities.

The province has seen 641 people recover from the virus. There are 146 people in hospital, with 64 in intensive care – three and four fewer patients than the day prior, respectively.

“We are continuing to work very hard and there is some good news and some challenging news in those numbers,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said. “On a day when people have passed away it is very hard to think of good news but the slight reduction in the number of people in hospital is that way.”

Dix said the promising statistics do not mean that the public can loosen their compliance of the preventative orders currently in place.

READ MORE: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister say

“We cannot allow new circumstances to get in the way of what Dr. Henry and the whole team of people in every corner of B.C. and the five million participants of that team who live in B.C. are doing right now,” he said, adding that the province has continued to press the federal government to ensure those being repatriated to B.C. from overseas follow the mandatory 14-day self-isolation as designated under the federal Quarantine Act.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said because the province is in its second incubation period, the next 14 days will reveal whether the social contacting provisions taken in B.C. will be enough to curb the number of new cases.

But Henry was quick to strike down comparing any projections of fatalities in B.C. to the statistics released Friday in Ontario, where health officials have projected 3,000 to 15,000 deaths due to the virus.

More to come.

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