A man rides a bike past a large emoji face painted on the boarded up windows of a store on Robson Street, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. British Columbia has outlined a gradual reopening of its economy with certain health services, retail outlets, restaurants, salons and museums resuming some operations in mid-May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A man rides a bike past a large emoji face painted on the boarded up windows of a store on Robson Street, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. British Columbia has outlined a gradual reopening of its economy with certain health services, retail outlets, restaurants, salons and museums resuming some operations in mid-May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records just 7 new cases, 1 death as next phase of COVID-19 reopening inches closer

Hospitalizations drop to 63, ICU cases to 16

B.C. recorded just seven new cases and one death from COVID-19 in B.C, as hospitalizations dropped to 63 people on Tuesday (May 12).

Dr. Bonnie Henry said the person who died was a senior in longterm care, as the virus’s death toll rose to 131. There are currently 390 active cases in B.C., out of a total of 2,360 positive tests since the crisis began.

“We are taking this slowly in how we’re rolling out the phases. The orders and restrictions we have put in place are to keep all of us safe,” Henry said.

“We need to maintain control,” the provincial health officer said B.C. continued to inch closer to phase two of the province’s reopening plan.

The focus now is on how to move forward, Henry said, with a new survey launched at bccdc.ca/covid19survey. The survey will ask about people’s experiences amid the pandemic, as well as prompt people to take two additional ones: a serology survey (blood testing) to help determine immunity across the population and one about planning for future waves of the virus.

Health Minister Adrian Dix reminded people to not take too much from a day of good COVID-19 figures. He said case counts like Tuesday’s are “something that we’re satisfied with, even pleased with, as it happens” but are not a sign that virus has finished wreaking havoc in B.C.

But even as more establishments open up in the coming weeks, Henry said masks are not likely to become mandatory.

“I really don’t believe we should be requiring it,” she said, adding that physical distancing remains the most important measure to stop the virus’s spread. That’s despite businesses like Starbucks and T&T Supermarket requiring customers to wear masks.

But although some parts of life will return to normal, others will not.

“We are as you can imagine not in favour of cruise ships not coming to British Columbia,” Henry said.

She said the 14-day mandatory quarantine will stay in place for people entering B.C. from abroad at least until the end of June, when it may be reviewed

READ MORE: Forget big weddings this summer, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns amid pandemic

READ MORE: Is B.C. reopening too soon? Lessons from Germany, Korea from COVID-19

READ MORE: Opening B.C.’s border to U.S. travel ‘is not in our best interest’: Dr. Henry


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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