Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix look on as Premier John Horgan discusses reopening the province’s economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

‘Risk is greatest in groups, indoors’: B.C. sees 21 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Of those battling the virus, 49 are in hospital

B.C. has recorded 21 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, as well as one new death – just days before B.C. enters the next phase in its reopening plan.

That means the province is dealing with 355 active confirmed cases linked to the novel coronavirus, which has no cure or vaccine, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Saturday (May 16).

Of those battling the virus, 49 are in hospital with 11 of those in intensive care units.

A total of 141 people have died from the contagious respiratory illness. Meanwhile, 1,229 have fully recovered.

There are a number of active outbreaks, 15 in long-term care and five in acute care units, including at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge and at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Three employees have also tested positive at Oppenheimer Group, a fruits and vegetable processing plant in Coquitlam. An outbreak at that facility was declared on Friday.

ALSO READ: First clinical trial for potential COVID-19 vaccine in Canada approved

B.C. will begin the second phase in its multi-phase reopening plan on Tuesday. Henry urged caution, adding that the contagious virus spreads indoors and within groups.

“We have to move carefully, and we have to move thoughtfully,” she said. “Much of the spread of COVID-19 has occurred because in the early stage of symptoms it’s often mild, and people may not realize it.”

Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 can call HealthLink BC at 811 in order to be tested.

Survey needing more responses from seniors

Henry thanked the thousands of British Columbians who toko time to complete the BC Centre for Disease Control survey which intends to measure the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s work, health and habits, and the level of “community immunity” to the novel coronavirus.

More responses from seniors are needed, though, she said, as well as those who live outside of B.C.’s major urban areas.

“If you have taken the survey, call an older friend,” Henry asked.

The survey can be taken on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, as well as on the phone during weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. by calling 1-833-707-1900.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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