British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on May 25, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will provide an update at 3 p.m. PT.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will provide an update at 3 p.m. PT

TransLink workers sanitize a SkyTrain at VCC-Clark station in Vancouver on May 21. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix will provide an update at 3 p.m. PT.
  • 10 new cases of COVID-19 were announced Saturday afternoon. 
  • There were two new deaths, both at long-term care homes.
  • There have been 2,517 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province. 
  • Of those who have tested positive, 2,057 people have recovered.
  • As of Saturday, there are 303 active cases in B.C. 
  • 157 people have died of the illness.
  • There are 39 patients in hospital, including eight in intensive care.

B.C. continues to show encouraging signs in slowing COVID-19 infections and has moved into a new phase of the response where some restrictions have been lifted. 

The provincial health officer is encouraging British Columbians to keep their travel close to home this summer.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Saturday that travel within the province can happen only if the number of COVID-19 cases doesn't ramp up as restrictions on gatherings are eased.

She said many small communities may not want people coming in, including some First Nations that could be more vulnerable to illness.

Henry said she'll leave it to those communities to decide for themselves if it's safe for people to visit, so it's best to wait for an invitation.

Contact tracing teams

Henry also said over the weekend that the province's robust public health teams are being beefed up this summer to do more contact tracing.

Henry said there will probably be an increase in COVID-19 cases this fall, along with the usual respiratory illnesses seen every year.

She said retired doctors and nurses as well as medical students are among the people on public health teams in each health authority.

Trudeau calls for 10 days of sick leave

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday morning that he'll push the provinces to give workers 10 days of paid sick leave a year as the country deals with the pandemic.

That appears to meet a key demand from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in exchange for the New Democrats' support for a motion to limit sittings and votes in the House of Commons through the summer.

Trudeau said the Liberals will also work on other long-term measures to make it easier for workers to stay home when they're ill.

"Nobody should have to choose between taking a day off work due to illness or being able to pay their bills," Trudeau said.

Commercial rent relief open

Canada's commercial rent relief program opened for applications Monday morning.

The Canada emergency commercial rent assistance (CECRA) program aims to reduce the rent owed by small businesses tenants by 75 per cent for April, May and June.

Applications are staggered depending on the province where the property owner is located and the number of tenants, beginning Monday with those in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.

Landlords in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Northwest Territories can apply Tuesday. Landlords with more than 10 eligible tenants can apply later this week.

Struggling businesses, however, say the relief will benefit few of them

Latest numbers

There was no Sunday update of provincial COVID-19 numbers. Henry's next update will be Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

On Saturday she announced 10 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 2,517, including 2,057 patients who have recovered.

The province also recorded two more deaths.

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 Sunday, Canada had 84,699 confirmed coronavirus cases. A CBC News tally of deaths attributed to coronavirus based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's journalism stood at 6,515.

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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