B.C.'s new normal will become clearer next week, says Dr. Bonnie Henry - InfoNews

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B.C.'s new normal will become clearer next week, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry briefs the media, April 29, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / B.C. Government
April 29, 2020 - 3:51 PM

The framework for B.C.’s “new normal” will be made more clear next week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, April 29.

And, if it wasn’t already made apparent, nobody should expect a rapid swing to what life was like before COVID-19.

“We are being thoughtful and careful and purposeful in our planning,” Dr. Henry said.

Dr. Henry reiterated that there is only a small number of industries in B.C. that were actually told to shut down, such as hair salons, personal service settings establishments, as well as, restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs and gambling facilities.

Other businesses, that chose to close during the last couple of weeks, even though they were not ordered to will also get a better idea of how they can return to more normal conditions as the economy starts to reboot.

At next week’s briefing there will be more details on the process for providing the information to every sector, about what the parameters will be to safely open.

“There are many examples of how those in retail in particular — bookstores and clothing stores and others — who've gone to a mixture of online and in-person,” Dr. Henry said, adding the aim going forward will be to create a provincial approach to so that it's a level playing field for everybody.

Consumers also need to be factored in to the equation, she said.

“There's a lot of concern still, and fear, about how this is going to work, and none of us want to see a sliding back to having outbreaks in our community,” she said.

Ultimately, the message today is that British Columbians need to stay vigilant about maintaining social distancing in the days ahead.

“The public health measures that we have in place, the illness the virus causes, and the loss of life are hard on all of us,” Dr. Henry said.

“The orders and the restrictions that we have in place now are have worked, and they've worked because we have followed them collectively, and we have done our bit to protect our families and our communities.”

She said that she wants to thank British Columbians for “doing the right thing.”

“You have demonstrated the creativity, the compassion and the care that we needed to get us through that part of our pandemic,” she said. “And we need to continue this, we need to continue to work together to continue to make a difference, and to continue to support each other through this next phase.”

B.C. is not alone in its battle with the pandemic, she pointed out.

“We have shown that we can work together and that our foundation remains strong, and we need to continue this with our mantra of being kind and being calm and staying safe.”

There were 34 new test positive cases of COVID-19  in B.C., bringing our total number of people who have tested positive to 2,087.

That includes 811 people in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 941 in the Fraser Health region, 120 people in the Vancouver Island Health Authority region, 169 at Interior Health and 46 people at Northern Health.

There are now 89 people who are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 35 of those cases being treated in the intensive care unit.

There were also four new deaths announced today, raising the provincewide COVID-19 death toll to 109.

“All four of the people who passed away in the last day were seniors elders, from long-term care homes, and in our own outbreaks,” Dr. Henry said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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