Make it a strong start, not a false start, B.C.'s health minister warns - InfoNews

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Make it a strong start, not a false start, B.C.'s health minister warns

Dr. Bonnie Henry May 14, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
May 14, 2020 - 3:45 PM

British Columbians are closer to gaining a little more social freedom as the province moves to Phase 2 of its pandemic plan, but that doesn't mean pre-COVID-19 life will resume soon.

"We need to be cautious and careful as we're moving into the next phase of our pandemic here in British Columbia," Dr. Bonnie Henry said, May 14, during the daily COVID-19 press conference.

Phase 2 marks the restoration of health services, ranging from elective surgeries to dentistry and physiotherapy. It also means that retailers, hairdressers and barbers, restaurants and cafes, office-based worksites and more parks will open.

As those businesses and services open, top priority in the days ahead will be monitoring the number of new COVID-19 cases and, tracking down anything that isn't linked to known outbreaks.

"We will be progressing slowly, as we know the incubation period for this virus is 14 days. So it will take us the next 14 to 28 days to understand the impact of the measures that we're taking in the coming week," she said.

The date for the next phase, which will include things like the movies and the symphony,  has yet to be set because it's contingent on what happens.

"I want that as a caution for people to know that we will not be moving into the next phase until we are confident that the measures we've taken so far have not resulted in a dramatic increase in the transmission community," Dr. Henry said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said he wants to see British Columbians have a "strong start, not a false start" and stay 100 per cent in to not spread COVID-19. He reiterated his earlier request that B.C. residents not travel to regular holiday spots both within the province and beyond.

Dr. Henry said it's important to remember there are many places that can be enjoyed close to home.

"Rain or shine we can get outside and enjoy some of the best of B.C. right in our own backyards," she said.

Fewer faces, smaller groups, shorter times together and bigger spaces are important in that effort.

There were three more deaths today, bringing the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in B.C. to 135, while an additional 15 people were tested positive today for COVID-19 raising the total to 2,392.

That includes 878 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,149 in the Fraser Health region, 126 people on Vancouver Island Health region, 181 people in the Interior Health region and 58 people in Northern Health.

There are now 372 active cases in the province and of those 58 people are hospitalized and 12 are in critical care or ICU.

Now 1,885 people have now fully recovered.

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