People are seen walking along the seawall in English Bay in Vancouver, Monday, May 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Keep ‘pandemic bubbles’ small, top doctor urges as B.C. prepares to loosen rules

Many measures will remain in place for months, officials say

B.C.’s top doctor urged the province’s residents to keep their “pandemic bubbles” small on Tuesday (May 5), the day before Premier John Horgan is scheduled to relax some COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are not yet through this,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “We are likely at the end of our beginning.”

Henry’s cautious tone came the day after she and Health Minister Adrian Dix released new modelling, which showed that people could eventually double their number of interactions and keep hospitalizations under control. Currently, B.C. is at 30 per cent of usual interactions.

“Don’t start planning your playdates and expanding your bubbles too soon. The orders and restrictions we have put in place are still in place.”

Measures that are, and will remain, key include washing hands frequently, maintaining physical distancing, staying home when sick and taking advantage of the warm weather by going outside, where COVID-19 is less likely to spread. Henry has said in the past that large gatherings are not happening in B.C. this summer and urged people to plan smaller events.

Henry said British Columbians could “consider the use of non-medical masks when physical distancing is not an option.”

Dix said 2020 could be the “summer of renewal” for B.C. as long as people continue to follow the rules.

But it will not be a “normal” summer, Henry said.

“We cannot afford right now to go back to the way we were in December. We’re going to have to be closer to home, find our joy and our fun in our own neighbourhoods.”

Exactly what restrictions will be loosened will be revealed by Horgan Wednesday, but Dix said B.C.’s reopening will not be as dramatic as that in Quebec in Ontario because many businesses here were never closed to begin with.

READ MORE: B.C. sees 8 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths

READ MORE: Officials say B.C. could eventually double interactions without causing new COVID-19 surge

READ MORE: B.C. records 170 ‘excess deaths’ so far during COVID-19 pandemic


@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

COLUMN: Search and find books still popular at the library

Where’s Waldo and other picture puzzle books provide entertainment for all ages

Boot launches campaign with Facebook Live event

NDP candidate for riding of Penticton joined by John Horgan, Richard Cannings and others

Osoyoos awards $77,000 contract for universal water metering

TR Underwood Engineering won the bid for planning and implementing water meters across town

Column: $200,000 donation to Penticton Regional Hospital more than ‘a little something’

The donation brings us closer to our goal of a second CT scanner at hospital

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Zero new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Five cases remain linked to an outbreak at Calvary Chapel in Kelowna

Most Read