FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government)

‘Fewer faces, bigger spaces’: Dr. Henry urges caution as B.C. sees 16 new cases, one death

Warning comes ahead of May long weekend

B.C. has recorded 16 new cases and one additional death due to COVID-19, Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Wednesday (May 13).

The province has had a total of 2,376 confirmed cases, 385 of which are still active. A total of 132 people have died. The death reported Wednesday was of a senior in a Fraser Health longterm care facility.

There are currently 59 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 15 of whom are in ICU.

Henry reminded British Columbians about the rules going forward on gatherings, as the province gets ready to enter phase two of the pandemic response over the May long weekend.

“I know its been challenging to understand what it means going forward,” she said.

The keys, Henry noted, are: “fewer faces, bigger spaces” even as British Columbians expand their bubble up to six people.

Those new people, she noted, should remain constant.

“Don’t change it up every day, that’s not going to be helpful,” Henry said, noting that friends and family should agree to remain exclusive to their new small groups.

And while gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, proper physical distancing must still be maintained outside of people’s bubbles. It’s also a good idea to keep gatherings short and outdoors, Henry said, to limit the time during which the virus can be transmitted.

Ultimately, Henry said, it’s up to everyone to decide on their own if they will expand their bubbles and who to include, depending on the people in their own households.

Health Minister Adrian Dix asked people to consider if any Victoria Day travel plans were truly essential, “even if it’s your second home, even if it’s a place you go to every Victoria Day weekend.”

People who do leave their communities should “bring your own food, bring your own necessities there” to maintain physical distancing.

Henry said non-essential travel within B.C. could become an option in the coming weeks, after the long weekend. She said restaurants and salons will be given specific guidance to open as soon as May 19.

The provincial health officer also lauded the 75,000 British Columbians who had already taken a new B.C. Centre for Disease Control survey at www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey about COVID-19.

“The response has been outstanding.”

The survey includes the further option to sign up for serology testing, which will test for antibodies through a test Health Canada just approved.

The test’s approval was heartening, Henry said, to determine what kind of antibodies are left after both mild and severe cases of the virus, as well as what level of protection they can offer.

“I fully expect this is going to be really helpful for us.”

If you do not need to go somewhere, even if it’s a place you go to every Victoria Day weekend.

READ MORE: B.C. begins broad COVID-19 survey, with option for antibody testing

READ MORE: Trudeau not ready to talk about extending U.S. travel ban, even as deadline approaches

READ MORE: ‘Rapid, serial dating’ a no-go even as people expand their pandemic bubbles: Dr. Henry


@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

The Williams Lake Skating Club is thrilled to introduce new coach Brenda Boulin (right) to its team. Boulin joins head coach Joanne Macnair (centre) and coach Breanna Davidson. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Skating Club welcomes new coach to team

WLSC longtime head coach Joanne Macnair is thrilled to welcome Brenda Boulin back home

While the weather in Williams Lake wreaked havoc on roads and flooded homes this week, the swans didn’t seem to mind it at all. (David Fait photo)
Waterlogged: Williams Lake downright soggy after days of rain

October has seen an unusual amount of rain fall in the Cariboo this year

Roberts Drive resident Lisa Tarlings awoke at 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 to water roaring down the driveway. She and other residents began working to try and divert the water off the road into the ditch. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune.
‘I could hear the water roaring outside’: Williams Lake homes flood after snow, heavy rain

Bette McLennan has lived in her home 41 years and this is the worst it’s ever been

Residents of Riske Creek came to the rescue of a truck driver who slid off Highway 20 in icy conditions with a load of calves Tuesday night (Oct. 27). (Facebook photo)
Riske Creek residents rush to scene of overturned cattleliner on Highway 20 Tuesday night

Residents rounded up cattle and directed traffic in the dark during a heavy snowfall

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

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

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Most Read