British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for June 2, 2020

As B.C. marks two weeks since businesses began reopening and people started expanded their social circles, new cases continue to fall.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 4 new cases Tuesday, no new deaths

A student heads back to class at Lynn Valley Elementary in North Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported four new cases Tuesday and no new deaths.
  • To date, there have been 2,601 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C.
  • 165 people have died.
  • 2,229 people who tested positive have recovered.
  • 31 people are in hospital, including eight in intensive care.
  • There are 207 active cases of the virus across B.C.
  • Many health-care system outbreaks declared over Tuesday.
  • Almost 60,000 K-12 students returned to classrooms Monday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced four new cases of COVID-19 detected in British Columbia Tuesday.

Henry, in her regular update with Health Minister Adrian Dix also had no new deaths to report.

"It's always a good day when we can announce that there are no new deaths," Dix said.

Henry announced that the outbreak at Abbotsford Regional Hospital had been declared over along with several more at long-term care facilities. That leaves B.C. with eight active outbreaks in long-term care.

Health Minister Adrian Dix, right, speaks at a regular COVID-19 update with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

There were two new community outbreaks declared in the Fraser Health Region, at office workplaces.

Henry said the outbreaks are small and were detected early.

"This is a testament to how people are being very careful and vigilant," Henry said.

She said Fraser Health is investigating those outbreaks.

Some students back in class

The province said about one-third of B.C.'s students — almost 60,000 in all — returned to classrooms Monday as kindergarten to Grade 12 schooling resumed on a part-time and optional basis.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said the partial return will allow staff to prepare for a new school year in the fall, and they will spend summer fine tuning how it will work.

Given the potential of a second wave of COVID-19, Fleming says it's not unlikely that a hybrid of in-class and online learning will be part of the next school year.

He says guidelines limiting class capacity won't change and there are response plans in place in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The province said Grade 6 students returned at 48.3 per cent of expected enrolment, the highest of all the grades. Grade 12 students returned at the lowest end at 14.5 per cent of expected enrolment.

Officials wait and watch for spikes

As B.C. marks two weeks since businesses began reopening and people started expanding their social circles, health officials are waiting to see if there has been a spike in COVID-19 infections.

On Monday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said he's seen mostly positive signs since Phase 2 of the province's pandemic response began May 19, with British Columbians continuing their commitment to physical distancing.

"People, at least in our neighbourhood, have been very thoughtful and very caring," the Vancouver MLA said.

But he and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also reminded members of the public that the novel coronavirus is still spreading through communities. They urged those participating in protests, such as the one recently against racism and police violence, to take precautions to protect those around them by wearing masks, keeping a physical distance and monitoring for symptoms after the event.

As of Tuesday, B.C. has had 2,601 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 165 people who have died. There are currently 207 active cases across the province. A total of 31 people are in hospital, including eight in intensive care.

Also on Monday, Finance Minister Carole James made a new order to protect small businesses from eviction if they are unable to make rent. James said landlords who are eligible but choose not to apply for the federal Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will not be able to evict their business tenants for unpaid rent.

READ MORE:

Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 5 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Canada had 91,705 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 49,739 of those listed by provinces as recovered or resolved. A tally of deaths maintained by CBC News based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 7,386.

For a look at what's happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick.
  • When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks won't fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

With files from The Canadian Press

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