Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents B.C.’s first COVID-19 model for hospital preparation, March 27, 2020. (B.C. government)

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

Dr. Bonnie Henry calls this week ‘the end of our beginning’

The number of deaths in B.C. is up 2.7 per cent above normal since COVID-19 infections began to be detected in February, with most of those attributable to the coronavirus and its effect on vulnerable populations.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released B.C.’s latest disease modelling data May 4, showing a continued decline in people sick enough to be in hospital, as the province prepares to loosen movement and business restrictions. Statistics show there were 170 deaths more than the expected level from January to late April, with 111 of those attributed to COVID-19. Of the 60 additional deaths, some of that may be a result of people avoiding hospital care due to the pandemic.

“This is I believe the end of our beginning of this pandemic,” Henry said, after releasing the latest two days of positive test data showing 53 new cases from May 2 to 4.

Henry released model projections showing increased unprotected contact between people and their risk of increasing the number of cases, as hospital space is returned to scheduled surgeries and other non-COVID-19 medical conditions.

Premier John Horgan is expected to announce specific measures to allow more business and social movement after the B.C. cabinet meets on Wednesday, May 6.

RELATED: B.C. records three more COVID-19 deaths in care homes

RELATED: B.C. extends temporary layoff rules due to COVID-19

“We need to do that now in a controlled way, in a managed way, in a safe way,” Henry said, using the example of inviting friends over in the summer.

“When you invite one person outside of your immediate household bubble into your home, you are also inviting all of the people in their bubble, the people they’ve had contact with,” Henry said. “And that includes people from their work, from their home and others that they’ve had close contact with.”

Physical distance strategies and creating safe ways of interacting are important to keep the infection rate from taking off, she said.

“We’re going to be working on increasing our environmental cleaning, considering the use of non-medical masks and of course we need to consider as well our non-essential travel and how we’re going to manage that through the summer months.”


@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

RCMP ask for assistance from public in hit and run of Canoe Creek pedestrian

The 33-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Williams Lake Highway 20 bump to be repaired once load restrictions are lifted

A historical slide area is actively causing ripples in the road

First annual Forest Service Road Clean Up For Wildlife goes until May 31

Taking place from May 16-31, the contest is open for anyone to enter

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read