B.C. health officials to provide COVID-19 update Monday with ‘phase two’ set to begin

B.C. health officials to provide COVID-19 update Monday with 'phase two' set to begin

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are set to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation here in British Columbia on Monday afternoon.

Their announcement is scheduled on May 18 for 3 pm PT. A live stream will be available on the BC Government’s Facebook page.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Province has reported 2,428 COVID-19 cases, however, there are currently only 355 active as the majority of people have recovered.

The most recent update came on Saturday, May 16, so Monday’s numbers will cover the previous 48-hour period.

Here on Vancouver Island, no new cases were announced on Saturday, leaving the total number at 126 total since the start of the crisis.

Following the Victoria Day long weekend, BC is planning on kicking off ‘phase two’ of the COVID-19 Restart Plan. The focus in this phase will be on the restoration of health services, re-scheduling elective surgery, and reopening operations including dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and chiropractors.

Other businesses slated to reopen during phase two are:

  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Restaurants and pubs that can manage physical distancing
  • Cafes
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Libraries
  • Office-based worksites
  • Recreation facilities
  • Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
  • Childcare
  • In-person counselling

While the Restart Plan is serving as a blueprint to get the economy back on its feet, Dr. Henry is calling on the province to move “carefully.”

“We have to move thoughtfully,” she said during Saturday’s announcement. “Much of the spread of COVID-19 has occurred because in the early stages of symptoms, it is often mild and people may not recognize it or they may not realize that this is what is causing the symptoms that they have.”

Henry said all it takes is one person who has mild symptoms to infect others who have they been in close contact with stressing that “we must continue to stay alert and stay vigilant.”

A big emphasis ahead of Tuesday’s reopenings is being put on not letting anyone with symptoms enter open businesses.

“This applies to you, your employees and your customers. So you need to have the appropriate processes in place to identify anybody who is feeling unwell and ensure that they have the ability to remain away from work or school,” said Dr. Henry “There can be no flexibility on this piece.”

This story will be updated following the 3 pm announcement.



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