A woman wears a protective face mask as she walks past a opened restaurant patio on Granville Street in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. British Columbia has entered into phase 2 of the provinces re-start plan allowing some business to reopen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. records 21 new COVID-19 cases after three days of single-digit increases

Three people died due to the novel coronavirus

The province recorded 21 new cases and three new deaths due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, B.C. health officials said in a joint statement Wednesday (May 20).

The jump in cases followed three days of single-digit increases that had many feeling hopeful as restrictions loosened and B.C. entered Phase Two of its COVID-19 recovery plan. B.C. is now up to 2,467 total test positive cases, 317 of which are currently active, and a total of 149 deaths. Two of Wednesday’s deaths were in the Fraser Health area, while the other was in Vancouver Coastal Health.

There was also a new COVID-19 outbreak at the The Cedars, an assisted living facility in Mission. Two outbreaks at the Ridge Meadows Hospital have been declared over and a total of 15 longterm care facilities and three acute care units have active outbreaks.

READ MORE: Only two new COVID-19 cases in B.C., one in care home

READ MORE: B.C. sees 2 deaths, 16 new COVID-19 cases over May long weekend on eve of phase two

There are 43 people in hospital due to the virus, with 10 of them in ICU.

The novel coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days, although symptoms can show up earlier. The Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-10), during which record-breaking hot temperatures saw many British Columbians head to beaches and parks, would be within that incubation period. Many on social media were concerned with what they perceived as a lack of physical distancing over Mother’s Day weekend, although at the time, Dr. Bonnie Henry said people were being “reasonable” in enjoying the outdoors.

“The vast majority of them were in small groups, they were sitting apart from each other,” she said of those gathered.

READ MORE: Many B.C. communities hit record high temperatures just before COVID rules relax

In Wednesday’s joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C.’s plan to restart its economy and increase social interaction “has been given careful thought and consideration,” with safety as the number one factor.

“Our ‘new normal’ is different from the way we have done things before, but we can reopen our schools and our businesses, and increase our connections in a way that is safe for everyone,” officials said.

READ MORE: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

The statement mentioned federal officials’ recommendation made earlier in the day that Canadians wear face non-medical masks in public when they cannot physically distance.

“When it is difficult to keep a safe physical distance for an extended period of time – for example, when you are on transit – this is a good way for you to protect those around you,” officials continued.

“We have to remember that face coverings keep our droplets in and don’t prevent transmission from others. The best ways for us to stay safe is to wash our hands, maintain a safe physical distance from others and keep our ‘rules’ for social interactions top of mind.”

READ MORE: Wearing non-medical masks now recommended in public, Canada’s top doctor says

Total COVID-19 cases, by health authority: 885 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,214 in Fraser Health, 126 in Island Health, 182 in Interior Health and 60 in Northern Health.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

New library to be built in downtown Kaslo

The building will cost $3 million

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read