British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on May 13, 2020

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday there have been 16 new cases of COVID-19 detected in B.C. since Tuesday.

16 new cases reported Wednesday, as well as 1 more death

A couple hold hands while waiting to cross a street in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • British Columbia has recorded a total of 2,376 COVID-19 cases with 16 new cases reported Wednesday.
  • In all, 132 people have died from COVID-19 in the province. 
  • Of those who have tested positive, 1,859 people have recovered.
  • Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's next briefing is Thursday at 3 p.m. PT. 

As communities across the province prepare for the 'new normal' of next week's Phase 2 pandemic response, B.C.'s provincial health officer is reminding people to keep their distance, even as restrictions ease.

"The path really is not black and white," Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday.

"We've never done this before and we all need to try and do our best within the important guidance that we have around the key measures to keep us safe."

B.C.'s top doctor says the provincial order limiting public gatherings to 50 people or less will remain in place for the forseeable future, while small groups will be allowed to meet up after the long weekend.

 With sixteen new cases reported Wednesday, there are continued signs the COVID-19 curve is flattening in British Columbia.

Fifty-nine people are in hospital with the virus; 14 of them in intensive care.

There have been 2,376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. to date. So far, 132 people have died and 1,859 people have recovered.

Vancouver pools stuck treading water

The Vancouver Park Board announced on Wednesday that it will delay the opening of its outdoor pools and providing lifeguards at its swimming beaches, which normally happens during the Victoria Day long weekend. 

The board said the long weekend usually signals the unofficial start to summer, with the park board opening the pools at Second Beach, Kitsilano Beach, New Brighton Park, Maple Grove Park, and Hillcrest Aquatic Centre, as well as by providing lifeguards at public swimming beaches in the city. 

"Unfortunately we are not in a position to open this weekend," said Daisy Chin, the board's director of recreation, in a written statement. 

The park board said it and other municipalities are waiting on guidelines from the Lifesaving Society Canada to find out how lifeguards can do their jobs safely. 

The city's beaches remain open, the park board said, but will not be staffed with lifeguards between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. as they normally would be at this time of year.

READ MORE: How B.C. plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions

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 10:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, provinces and territories reported a total of 71,157 cases. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 5,283.

The numbers are not a complete picture, as they don't account for people who haven't been tested, those being investigated as a potential case and people still waiting for test results. 

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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