FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government)

‘Fewer faces, bigger spaces’: Dr. Henry urges caution as B.C. sees 16 new cases, one death

Warning comes ahead of May long weekend

B.C. has recorded 16 new cases and one additional death due to COVID-19, Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Wednesday (May 13).

The province has had a total of 2,376 confirmed cases, 385 of which are still active. A total of 132 people have died. The death reported Wednesday was of a senior in a Fraser Health longterm care facility.

There are currently 59 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 15 of whom are in ICU.

Henry reminded British Columbians about the rules going forward on gatherings, as the province gets ready to enter phase two of the pandemic response over the May long weekend.

“I know its been challenging to understand what it means going forward,” she said.

The keys, Henry noted, are: “fewer faces, bigger spaces” even as British Columbians expand their bubble up to six people.

Those new people, she noted, should remain constant.

“Don’t change it up every day, that’s not going to be helpful,” Henry said, noting that friends and family should agree to remain exclusive to their new small groups.

And while gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, proper physical distancing must still be maintained outside of people’s bubbles. It’s also a good idea to keep gatherings short and outdoors, Henry said, to limit the time during which the virus can be transmitted.

Ultimately, Henry said, it’s up to everyone to decide on their own if they will expand their bubbles and who to include, depending on the people in their own households.

Health Minister Adrian Dix asked people to consider if any Victoria Day travel plans were truly essential, “even if it’s your second home, even if it’s a place you go to every Victoria Day weekend.”

People who do leave their communities should “bring your own food, bring your own necessities there” to maintain physical distancing.

Henry said non-essential travel within B.C. could become an option in the coming weeks, after the long weekend. She said restaurants and salons will be given specific guidance to open as soon as May 19.

The provincial health officer also lauded the 75,000 British Columbians who had already taken a new B.C. Centre for Disease Control survey at www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey about COVID-19.

“The response has been outstanding.”

The survey includes the further option to sign up for serology testing, which will test for antibodies through a test Health Canada just approved.

The test’s approval was heartening, Henry said, to determine what kind of antibodies are left after both mild and severe cases of the virus, as well as what level of protection they can offer.

“I fully expect this is going to be really helpful for us.”

If you do not need to go somewhere, even if it’s a place you go to every Victoria Day weekend.

READ MORE: B.C. begins broad COVID-19 survey, with option for antibody testing

READ MORE: Trudeau not ready to talk about extending U.S. travel ban, even as deadline approaches

READ MORE: ‘Rapid, serial dating’ a no-go even as people expand their pandemic bubbles: Dr. Henry


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Valley artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

Black Lives Matter events planned for Courtenay

Peaceful gatherings are scheduled for Simms Park Friday and Saturday

Arnott taking medical leave as Comox mayor

Coun. Ken Grant will step in a mayor for time being

Comox Valley Regional District receives $100,000 to develop poverty action plan

Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says a $100,000 grant in provincial funding… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read