Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 53 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia today (Wednesday), bringing the total number of cases to 1,066.

One new death has occurred, for a cumulative provincial total of 25.

There are also 142 people in hospital with 66 in the ICU across BC.

606 cases have now recovered, leaving 460 cases still active in British Columbia at the moment.

This means that 57% of COVID-19 cases within the province have recovered fully.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix spoke on hospital occupancy.

Dix said there are 4,192 beds at 61% capacity.

Citizens were again reminded that medical masks are not proven to prevent illness in the wearer, but may help limit the spread of COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients.

“The supply of medical masks and respirators is tenuous, and needs to be reserved for our healthcare workers,” said Henry.

Dr. Henry clarified that she is not explicitly against the use of non-medical cloth masks, but emphasized that physical distancing and handwashing are proven methods of limiting the spread of the virus.

Henry clarified that over-testing may lead to concerns of providing false-negatives to individuals who are only experiencing mild symptoms which are often associated with early stages of COVID-19.

She added she believes testing is being focused on the areas where it is the most necessary.

Henry also said that any at-home testing kits currently available have not been validated, and are susceptible to providing incorrect results.

“There is no at-home test that is reliable,” she stated.

With files from Justin Madu & Catherin Garrett,