'Made in B.C.' approach to returning to normal life post COVID-19 - InfoNews

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'Made in B.C.' approach to returning to normal life post COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
April 27, 2020 - 4:15 PM

What’s happening in other provinces or even other countries won’t dictate how B.C. moves into the next phase of its COVID-19 response.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated repeatedly during her April 27 press conference, that a “made in B.C.” response is what’s helped flatten the curve, and it’s also what will help plot next steps, which will roll out, “slowly, thoughtfully and safely.”

Since Saturday, there have been 50 new cases of COVID-19. Eleven of those were in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of cases to 1,998.

Dr. Henry said that given the amount of testing that’s been done in recent days, 11 new cases in 24 hours is a very positive number.

It doesn’t, however, signal a resumption of normal life in the near future, or as has been the case in other provinces, a return to old life.

“People in B.C. are waiting to make sure we’re not going too fast and not going to undo all the work and sacrifice of recent months,” she said.

More businesses will be opened in the coming weeks, which Dr. Henry said is something they've always been able to do. She ordered very little be closed, so while other provinces announce they're back in business B.C. won't have that approach.

Moving forward, Dr. Henry said that she’s focused on setting out parameters that will allow businesses to open again safely, while maintaining social distancing, and hand hygiene and better cleaning practices.

“We are now making plans to ease restrictions with understanding what we will face in upcoming months,” she said.

“Nobody wants a resurgence… we need to provide a consistent framework so different sectors know how they will operate.”

A similar approach will be made with education and a plan of what’s next for students will be put out in the coming days and weeks.

Dr. Henry stressed that no date has been set for the resumption of classes, but new ways of offering education in a post-COVID-19 world are being explored. The immediate concern is for those essential workers who have elementary-aged children that need to have school.

“We have had a Made in B.C. approach to our pandemic and our experience to the pandemic has been different to what we’ve seen around the country and around the world,” Dr. Henry said.

And just as the COVID plan has been unique to B.C., so is the natural disasters it faces year after year.

“It’s not an easy undertaking,” she said. “We know that people who are working on floods and people who have been evacuated in this past week because of flooding have had challenges maintaining (space) from others.”

If and when wildfire season hits, firefighters will also have trouble with distancing.

All of this will shape the return to the new normal.

In addition to the new cases of COVID-19, there have been three more deaths in B.C.

There have been 103 deaths provincewide, 64 of which were deaths of residents in long-term care facilities.

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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