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

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Safe Surrey under fire for ‘sickening’ social media posts accusing RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Surrey RCMP look for missing man

Tyler Ridout, 36, last seen near Balsam Crescent and 136th Street

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read