What a re-opened B.C. might mean to your social life - InfoNews

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What a re-opened B.C. might mean to your social life

Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
May 04, 2020 - 8:30 PM

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has people down to about 30 per cent of the normal amount of contacts they have with others due to COVID-19. Given the province’s success in minimizing the spread of the pandemic, that could increase to 60 per cent with no real damage to the health care system.

But, that doesn’t mean people can stand closer, gather in larger groups or stop washing their hands.

“Some things that are not changing in the near future are orders on the numbers of people who can congregate together – right now that’s 50,” she said during an update today, May 4, of the course the pandemic has taken. “Smaller is better. Outside is safer than inside.”

COVID-19 is still widespread throughout the province and the world and, if prevention methods are relaxed, cases could spike. That means all the safe distancing, hand washing and other sanitary measures will stay in place.

Henry presented a graph that showed, if the number of contacts people had with each other increases to 60 per cent of normal from the current 30 per cent, there will be more cases and more hospitalizations but those will be manageable. Going to 80 per cent could see a surge in cases that could overwhelm the health care system.

Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Government

So, that means retail stores could open up if they follow the example of grocery stores with things like one way isles, barriers at checkouts and hand washing stations.

Restaurants may be able to re-open but without buffets “because we know those are opportunities for sharing of the virus.”

Small social gatherings could be held but vulnerable people who are older or have underlying health conditions should not have physical connections with others.

On the other hand, some modified form of Little League baseball may be possible for the summer and she didn’t rule out the idea of NHL games being played in Vancouver without on-site crowds.

“We really are in uncharted territory right now and that’s why it’s so important for us to maintain these principles through this summer,” Henry said. “This is going to be a unique summer for all of us.”

She pointed out that increasing the number of people we welcome into our homes by just one puts us in contact with all those people the new person has come in contact with.

Premier John Horgan is going to start unveiling plans to relieve the lockdown restrictions on Wednesday.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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