British Columbia

COVID-19 cases remain relatively static in B.C., but a shift into Phase 3 will still be gradual

As businesses and services gradually reopen, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is reminding British Columbians the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and precautions must still be taken.

Health officials announce 36 new cases within 72-hour period

Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on the COVID-19 situation in B.C. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

The latest:

  • 36 new cases between Friday and Sunday.
  • No new deaths.
  • 182 are currently sick with COVID-19.
  • 13 people are in hospital, four in intensive care. 
  • 2,745 total cases in B.C.
  • 168 people have died. 
  • 2,395 people have recovered.
  • South Granville Park Lodge and Kearl Lake oilsands project outbreak declared over.

As businesses and services gradually reopen, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is reminding British Columbians the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and precautions must still be taken.

Cases have remained largely static in B.C. in the past 10 days, but new cases are still arising and the virus will continue to live in communities for months to come, she said.

"In many parts of our province where we haven't had new cases in a long time, it might feel like we're back to normal," Henry said Monday.

"It is easy sometimes when we're in the place that we're in, to think the pandemic is over."

The province's objective now is to keep cases low and contain clusters through contact tracing and testing in an effort to minimize the impact on communities. 

Both Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say they have been closely monitoring infections as the province rolls out COVID-19 restart plans, which have allowed an array of restaurants and personal service establishments to reopen.

As more people resume certain activities, there's an increased risk that someone could bring COVID-19 back home or into their workplace — a spark that can quickly turn to fire if left unchecked, Henry said. 

There have been no cases of COVID-19 connected to schools reopening on June 1, Henry added.  

'We have to be careful'

B.C. remains in Phase Two of its reopening plan and the shift into the next phase will be gradual, Henry said.  

Group gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 50 people with room for physical distancing and this will remain a reality in the months to come, Dix added.  

B.C. has seen several anti-racism protests in the past two weeks with crowds in the thousands. Asked about the health impacts, Henry said it's important that people be able to speak out against racism in this way, even during a pandemic.

However, attendees should try to physically distance from one another and wear masks, she said. 

Choirs, religious services, funerals, weddings, birthday parties and nightclubs are examples of others settings where people are together in enclosed environments and at greater risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19, Henry said. 

Anyone planning an event should ensure there can be enough space between up to 50 people and provide ways for people to attend virtually. 

Special care still needs to be taken with the most vulnerable people in society, Henry said.

For those planning summer road trips, Henry said people should be mindful of the burden they place on smaller communities.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said British Columbians should enjoy their province this summer, keeping in mind the pandemic hasn't ended. 0:59

Last week, Henry said she's hopeful the next phase of B.C.'s pandemic response could begin later in June or July — but it's dependent on new cases. 

Travellers should be respectful of communities who may not be ready to accommodate guests yet, Henry said.

"There's a lot we can do but we have to be careful," she said. 

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

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