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British Columbia recorded 656 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday as officials urged residents not to bend public health rules.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say in a joint statement that an additional 16 people have died, pushing B.C.’s death toll to 457.

The new positive tests bring the total confirmed cases in the province since the pandemic began to 33,894, while about 70 per cent of those are considered recovered.

The statement says there are 8,796 active cases in the province and another 10,123 people exposed to known cases are under active public health monitoring.

There are 336 people are being treated in hospital and 76 are in intensive care.

The majority of new cases are in the Fraser Health region, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health.

“Without exception, follow the provincial health officer’s orders in place,” Henry and Dix say in the statement.

Any events that gather people are not currently allowed, whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis, they say. This includes religious, cultural or community events.

“Do not gather at home with anyone other than your household or core bubble,” the statement says.

“Let’s make today a day to slow community transmission and continue to protect everyone in our province.”

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