B.C. reports 21 new cases as recoveries pass 2,000

B.C. reports 21 new cases as recoveries pass 2,000
Province of BC
Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on May 19, 2020.

B.C. health officials have announced 21 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia and three additional deaths, a day after only two cases were reported in the province.

The province has now recorded a total of 2,467 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. There are 317 active cases and 2,001 recoveries.

The death toll from COVID-19 is now at 149. Two of the three deaths reported Wednesday were in the Fraser Health region and one was in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Of the active cases, 43 are in hospital (down from 45 on May 19) and 10 are in ICU (two fewer than May 19).

There have now been 885 COVID-19 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,214 in the Fraser Health region, 126 in the Island Health region (no change from May 19), 182 in the Interior Health region and 60 in the Northern Health region. Of the cases in Island Health, 120 have recovered. There is one hospitalization in the Island Health region.

There is also one new health-care outbreak as of Wednesday.The outbreak is at The Cedars in Mission assisted-living facility.

Both outbreaks at Ridge Meadows Hospital have now been declared over. In total, 15 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix released Wednesday’s numbers in a statement. The province is now in its second phase of B.C.’s Restart Plan.

“Every step in BC’s Restart Plan has been given careful thought and consideration to ensure the health and safety of British Columbians comes first,” Henry and Dix wrote in Wednesday’s statement.

“Our ‘new normal’ is different from the way we have done things before, but we can reopen our schools and our businesses, and increase our connections in a way that is safe for everyone.”

Henry and Dix also addressed Canada’s public health experts now fully recommending Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren’t sure they will be able to keep their distance from others.

“Today, the federal government spoke to the use of non-medical masks or cloth face coverings in public settings. When it is difficult to keep a safe physical distance for an extended period of time – for example, when you are on transit – this is a good way for you to protect those around you,” Henry and Dix said.

“We have to remember that face coverings keep our droplets in and don’t prevent transmission from others. The best ways for us to stay safe is to wash our hands, maintain a safe physical distance from others and keep our ‘rules’ for social interactions top of mind.”

Earlier Wednesday, Premier John Horgan held a press conference where he addressed the province’s response to COVID-19. He spoke about the rise of racism in the province since the pandemic started.

Horgan also said the legislature will resume either June 15 or June 22 to pass the budget and several pieces of legislation, but the legislature will look different than it has in the past.

The premier says he foresees some politicians from farther ridings to contribute remotely while others will be stationed in various rooms throughout the building to participate in debates and votes.

Television screens are being installed throughout the legislature and Horgan suggests spilt-screen images of politicians participating in debates will resemble scenes from the popular game show “Hollywood Squares.”

Horgan says, like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he will be wearing a mask at times when he cannot guarantee physical distancing.

A handful of B.C. politicians were last at the legislature for an emergency one-day sitting in March to adopt financial spending legislation and amend employment standards law to prevent people from losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And as for B.C.’s COVID-19 survey, Henry and Dix said 286,000 British Columbians have completed the survey. The survey can be found here.

To see a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, visit the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard. 

According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of COVID-19 cases is more than 4.9 million, based on official and media reports. More than 326,000 deaths have been reported.

With files from The Canadian Press

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!