British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on May 4, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 53 new COVID-19 cases and 3 more deaths in B.C.

New data shows more women than men have tested positive however more men have required hospitalization

A woman buys ice cream from an ice cream truck parked in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on May 1. British Columbia is expected to announce the province's timeline this week for easing restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • 53 new cases were diagnosed in the past two days.
  • A total of 2,224 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in B.C. so far.
  • 117 people have died.
  • 77 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, including 20 in intensive care.
  • 1,417 people have recovered.
  • The outbreak at the Mission Federal Institution has grown to 121 inmates and 13 staff.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 53 more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 48 hours, and three more have died.

That brings the overall number of confirmed cases in B.C. to 2,224 and the death toll to 117.

Henry also released new modelling for COVID-19 on Monday, as the province prepares to begin reopening the economy. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides a COVID-19 data update. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

The data showed that more women than men have been diagnosed with the virus. However, more men than women have required critical care.

The 50-59 age group has the highest number of confirmed cases but the majority of deaths are elderly people over 70.

The provincial government is expected to outline its plan to relax the rules put in place to combat COVID-19 this week. CBC News has learned there are three key takeaways.

First, nothing will "reopen" this week.

Second, the changes won't take effect until the middle of May.

Third, the government won't be releasing a lengthy list of which stores should open. Instead, there will be guidelines for industries that have voluntarily shut down since March.

Overall, the focus will be on giving the public broad rules for how it can safely practise a "new normal" until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. 

TransLink buses no longer free as of June 1 

TransLink on Monday announced it will begin charging bus fares again and allowing front-door boarding on June 1. Buses have been free and running on a rear-boarding only model since March 20.

The transit authority said it is installing temporary plexiglass shields on conventional buses to shield drivers from passengers boarding through the front door. Vinyl barriers will be installed on the remainder of the fleet.

"We've managed to find an innovative solution which ensures the safety of our bus operators, while also allowing for safe fare collection," TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond wrote in a statement.

The authority expects to collect $2 million per month in revenue after bringing fares back. TransLink previously said it was losing $75 million every month due to the pandemic, leading to nearly 1,500 layoffs and widespread cuts to most modes of public transportation in Metro Vancouver in late April.

Breakdown of latest numbers

Broken down by health authority, there are 845 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1027 in Fraser Health, 124 in Vancouver Island Health, 177 in Interior Health and 51 in Northern Health.

Henry said the number of long-term care and acute care facilities with outbreaks remained steady at 23.

The outbreak at the Mission Federal Institution continues to grow, now affecting 121 inmates and 13 staff members. 

Of the three Lower Mainland poultry processing plant with outbreaks, Superior Poultry remains the largest with 54 cases. United Poultry has 34 and Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry seven confirmed cases. 

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 4:30 a.m. PT, Canada has recorded 59,474 presumptive and confirmed coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 24,921 cases as recovered or resolved. A tally maintained by CBC News based on provincial health data, regional health information and CBC's reporting lists 3,774 coronavirus-related deaths in Canada, with two known COVID-19-linked deaths of Canadians abroad.

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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