Over the weekend, B.C.’s health authorities are reporting 50 new confirmed COVID-19 cases around the province, bringing the total to 1,998 as of Monday, April 27th.
The updated numbers in Monday’s briefing reflect the time period between Saturday and Monday afternoon. 39 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 11 were confirmed between Sunday and Monday.
Three more deaths have occurred over the weekend due to COVID-19, with 103 in total to date.
Recoveries are also on the rise, as 1,190 people are symptom-free from the virus, leaving 808 active cases.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Public Health Officer said that natural disasters such as floods and forest fires and all the logistical challenges they bring must also be taken into consideration with the pandemic.
“We are very aware of how we need to manage our response to this pandemic and ensure we are able to meet the needs that we have in the province to respond to these natural disasters,” said Henry. “We know that people who have been evacuated in this last week because of flooding have had challenges in maintaining their ability to stay apart from others. We know that firefighters will need to work closely together for the upcoming forest fire season.”
Despite the numbers of newly infected in the province, Henry has offered some optimism towards the possibility of easing restrictions.
“I think you can see from these numbers, despite the community outbreaks we are seeing, that it’s clear evidence that our sustained efforts to follow public health measures are working here,” said Henry. “We’re getting close to that time where we can start to open up. We need to make sure that we have the public health teams that are able to quickly undertake contact tracing.”
Henry said that plans are being developed to ease measures from health authorities while taking into consideration what British Columbians may face.
“We are taking the time to do these steps right and meet the conditions that we have and we are experiencing in B.C.,” explained Henry. “Nobody wants to see a resurgence, so we are watching very carefully. Our focus is to provide a consistent framework so that different sectors know what they need to operate within.”
Henry added a reminder that employers must take care of the health and safety of their employees during the pandemic, even as restrictions are lifted.
“We need to make sure that people are not penalized for staying home when they are ill. That is going to be so critical for us in the coming months.”
Henry added that a fully fleshed-out guideline for businesses to follow, including where to direct any questions will be made public in the coming days.