British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on May 16, 2020

B.C. health officials announced another 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Saturday and one more death from the novel coronavirus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 21 new cases of the virus on Saturday

Picnic tables that have had their benches and tables removed are pictured on the first day of the reopening of Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 21 new confirmed cases on Saturday.
  • There has also been one more death, for a total of 141 who have died of the disease in B.C.
  • There have been 2,428 COVID-19 cases in B.C.
  • Of those who have tested positive, 1,932 people have recovered.
  • The B.C. Nurses' Union says it's concerned about a new outbreak at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, and one more death. 

Henry said there have been 2,428 cases in B.C. to date, and 1,932 people have recovered from the disease. 

The cases include a new outbreak at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, where six health-care workers and two patients have tested positive. 

The B.C. Nurses' Union says it's concerned about the outbreak there, especially given that the facility is one of a few dedicated to treating the illness. 

But Henry addressed those concerns at her daily briefing on Saturday, saying that shortage of personal protective equipment is not the issue there. 

"This outbreak reminds us of how pernicious this virus is," she said. 

Looking ahead

Henry also referred to the province's plans to reopen some sections of the economy starting on Tuesday. 

On Friday, WorkSafeBC announced protocols for businesses in many sectors that are getting the green light to reopen: restaurants, cafés and pubs, real estate, arts and cultural facilities, retail, K-12 education, parks and outdoor spaces, health services, in-person counselling and office space.

"Some of the same rules for social interaction apply to our small businesse as well," Henry said. "Fewer faces, less time together, bigger spaces."

For some smaller shops, restaurants and services reopening may not be possible given the new guidelines, Henry said.

Stay home, stay safe

The Victoria Day long weekend normally signals the start of summer, but officials want British Columbians to make sure people don't let up on their efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While many provincial parks are now open for day use, officials are discouraging unnecessary travel.

The mayor of Clearwater, near Wells Provincial Park, has raised concerns around provincial parks reopening last week. He worries contact tracing would be impossible in the event of outbreak in a park. 

Officials are telling people to get outside, but to do it close to home.

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 Saturday, there are 75,864 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 5,782.

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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