Family groups have been limiting their social contacts during the coronavirus pandemic. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Coronavirus infection among children has been low in B.C., but those older than 19 have significant risk of COVID-19 and should be careful about expanding their social circles, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

The warning came as B.C. K-12 schools prepared for about 60,000 students to return for part-time classes this week, and camping in provincial parks reopened along with personal service and other businesses shut down by pandemic restrictions. Monday was also marked by street protests following demonstrations and riots in the U.S.

Statistics to May 30 show fewer than one per cent of B.C. positive tests have turned up in children under 19, just 77 cases from thousands of children tested, Henry said. There have been 260 people between age 20 and 29 with positive tests, and 442 or 17 per cent of all cases in people between 30 and 39.

“We also know that transmission in children usually happens in the household contacts, where you have a lot of contact from an adult to a child,” Henry said. “We purposely timed the reopening of schools to be sure we had an incubation period to see if we were going to start seeing increased numbers of cases in our communities once we started our restart program. If we had had seen an increase we would have postponed or delayed the start of schools.”

RELATED: 30% of B.C. students return for in-class teaching

RELATED: Commercial landlords can’t evict if they refuse assistance

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said protection of seniors in care remains the highest priority.

“As we’ve seen, there continues to be a very significant risk to people in long-term care,” Dix said. “We are not changing at this time those rules on visiting, but we understand the challenge that everyone face and what an extraordinary additional pressure that places on family caregivers.”

Henry advised that people’s activities and increased social contacts depend on their own activities.

“If you’re not going back to school, if you’re not going back to work, or you’re continuing to work from home and do things remotely, then you might want to expand to another family or household or group,” Henry said. “But right now we need to hold those limits small and we see that this can spread very quickly if we’re not careful that way.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Surrey Mounties seeking witnesses to Saturday shooting

Police say the victim isn’t providing investigators with information

B.C.’s virtual ‘SoundON’ concerts kick off with sounds of Surrey festival

‘FVDED Broadcast’ from nightclub on July 18, as charity event

Surrey council approves $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This came before council’s meeting on Monday July 13

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Cold and wet weather has corn farmers waiting across the Fraser Valley

Usually the crop is ready July 5-12 but it’s still a few more days from perfection, says local farmer

Most Read