(file photo)

There are 9 new cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province,  the B.C. Ministry of Health announced Saturday.

Saturday’s count brings the total number of cases in BC to 73, and all of the cases announced today are from the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, Fraser Health Region and the Interior Health Region.

Of the nine new cases, only one is travel-related. The individual returned from travelling to Europe with Portugal being the last country they visited.

Many of the new cases are related to an outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. Four residents and 12 staff at the centre are now infected.

During the conference, Dr. Bonnie Henry reminded people to not panic buy and to be mindful when shopping for supplies and to not hoard shop.

She also encouraged people to get out and enjoy the outdoors while many events around the province are cancelled – just keep the groups in smaller amounts.

“Go outdoors and take advantage of the time and space that we have – do it in small groups,” she said.

On Friday, the province officially banned all gatherings of more than 250 people.

Out of the 73 people who have thus far tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C., six people have fully recovered from the illness.

There remains one case of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island – a 63-year-old man who lives in Victoria and recently returned from travelling to Egypt. He is recovering at home in isolation.

Dr. Henry also clarified that COVID-19 testing is not necessary for everyone who returns from travelling, particularly if they have not exhibited any symptoms of illness.

This comment clears up questions surrounding why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not received coronavirus testing despite his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau testing positive for the illness.

Dr. Henry reiterated that if you have returned from travel and have no symptoms or mild symptoms, there’s no need to be tested. She asks that returning travellers to continue self-isolating.

More to come.


Click here for all the latest updates on the COVID-19.


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With files from Brishti Basu

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