B.C.’s high physician urges ‘pause’ over lengthy weekend earlier than companies reopen Tuesday

VICTORIA—British Columbia’s high physician is urging residents to remain near residence over the lengthy weekend with a purpose to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 earlier than some companies reopen on Tuesday.

Provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned a lot of the virus’s unfold has occurred as a result of signs are sometimes gentle, particularly within the early phases of sickness, and folks might not acknowledge it could possibly be COVID-19 making them sick.


“This implies we should proceed to remain alert and keep vigilant, and this Could lengthy weekend, we have to pause,” she mentioned. “We have to keep near residence and suppose by how all of us in B.C. will put into place our new safe-social-interaction guidelines for the approaching days and weeks.”

B.C. reported 21 new circumstances of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the province’s complete to 2,428 — a rise of zero.87 per cent.

Henry mentioned 355 of these circumstances are energetic, with 49 folks in hospital, together with 11 in essential or intensive care.


Another particular person has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, elevating the province’s dying toll to 141.

Tips for companies which are allowed to reopen through the second part of the province’s restart plan had been up to date Friday.

Beginning Tuesday, eating places, cafés and pubs, retail and private service institutions, libraries, museums and galleries, workplace areas and child-care services might reopen, in addition to parks, seashores and leisure services.


B.C. can also be set to permit the restoration of well being providers, together with the rescheduling of elective surgical procedures, in addition to dentistry, registered therapeutic massage and physiotherapy, chiropractors, in-person counselling and speech remedy.

Henry mentioned every enterprise will need to have a COVID-19 security plan in place that prospects, workers and public well being officers might entry, and WorkSafeBC is on the market to assist develop the plans.


A number of the similar guidelines that apply to social interactions apply to companies, together with bodily distancing and “fewer faces, much less time collectively (and) larger areas,” Henry mentioned.

As effectively, nobody with signs ought to be allowed to enter a place of job, together with employers, workers and prospects, she mentioned.

“You should have the suitable processes in place to determine anyone who’s feeling unwell and make sure that they’ve the flexibility to stay away from work or faculty. There might be no flexibility on this piece.”


At occasions when bodily distancing will not be doable, Henry mentioned, there are different choices, together with plastic limitations and one-way aisles in shops.

She mentioned non-medical masks will also be useful for brief intervals of time in areas reminiscent of public transit.

“My sporting a masks and any individual else sporting a non-medical masks retains our droplets to ourselves.”


Nevertheless, Henry emphasised that masks don’t exchange different measures aimed toward sustaining distance and separation between folks.

Faculties are additionally set to reopen on an non-obligatory, part-time foundation in June. Henry mentioned there’s no purpose to maintain children out of college if somebody of their family is sick until they’re the contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

However the well being officer urged warning, noting processes should be in place to evaluate folks every day.


Get the most recent in your inbox

By no means miss the most recent information from the Star, together with up-to-date coronavirus protection, with our e-mail newsletters

Sign Up

There are not any new group outbreaks in B.C., Henry mentioned Saturday, however there are ongoing outbreaks in 15 long-term-care services and 5 acute-care items, in addition to a fruit and vegetable processing facility in Coquitlam.


Public well being officers can be watching and responding to quite a lot of indicators as B.C. begins to reopen, she mentioned.

They embrace the variety of new circumstances, notably those who aren’t simply linked to identified chains of transmission, in addition to hospitalizations and the province’s capability for COVID-19 testing, case administration and phone tracing.