B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates for May 22
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.
Today, we have 18 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,507 cases in British Columbia.
There are 310 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,042 people who tested positive have recovered.
Of the total COVID-19 cases, 41 individuals are hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 888 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,236 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior Health region and 62 in the Northern Health region.
The discrepancy between new cases and total cases with the Interior Health and Island Health regions reported today are a data consolidation to reflect COVID-19 cases based on where individuals reside, even if they were not in the health authority during their illness.
Nine of the cases in Interior Health and one case in Island Health are individuals associated with the Kearl Lake outbreak, who completed their self-isolation in Alberta and have since recovered.
We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 155 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been no new health-care outbreaks, and the outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital has been declared over. In total, 14 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care units have active outbreaks.
Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at the Mountain Institution and Mission Institution – both federal corrections facilities, at the Oppenheimer Group, facilities in the poultry sector and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.
We are finding our new balance between protecting our health and reopening many of the businesses and activities that are important to all of us.
Phase 2 of our BC’s Restart Plan is about pausing before moving forward; being thoughtful and cautious to keep everyone safe, while COVID-19 remains in our communities.
While Phase 2 is now underway, the provincial health officer order restricting mass gatherings to no more than 50 individuals remains in place. Further, the order has been amended to also include no more than 50 vehicles for outdoor drive-in events, with a restriction on the sale of refreshments. Anyone attending these events must stay in their cars unless they have to go to washrooms, which must be serviced with running water for proper hand hygiene.
This week, we have seen British Columbians throughout the province using the WorkSafeBC public health guidelines and the rules for safe social interactions to increase their activities while protecting employees, customers, friends and family.
This approach – moving slowly, with patience and care – is our way forward. We have made great strides to flatten our curve, and we must continue with our efforts. Let’s keep going, together.
Lead image: A quiet 13th Street in downtown Invermere. Waiting for the tourists to be able to return. Photo courtesy Lisa Ede