People sit and lie in the sun at Kitsilano Beach Park as temperatures reached highs into 20s according to Environment Canada, in Vancouver, on Saturday, May 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

People sit and lie in the sun at Kitsilano Beach Park as temperatures reached highs into 20s according to Environment Canada, in Vancouver, on Saturday, May 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘COVID-19 has not gone away’: B.C. records 23 new cases, one death over Mother’s Day weekend

Health officials urged British Columbians to keep following the rules

B.C. recorded 23 new cases over Mother’s Day weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday (May 11).

That included 9 new cases from Saturday to Sunday and 14 more over the past 24 hours, bringing the province to a total of 2,353 tests positive cases. Of those, 1,719 people have recovered.

One person in Fraser Health died due to COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the province’s death toll to 130. There at 66 people in hospital with the virus, with 18 of them in ICU.

READ MORE: COVID-19: ‘Give the gift of staying healthy this Mother’s Day’

Henry reminded British Columbians to “be calm, to be kind, to be safe” as they look forward to restrictions loosening this upcoming long weekend.

“We are now in a much better place” than when B.C. was at the height of its COVID-19 crisis in March.

But Henry urged people to “be patient” as the province reopens, both in terms of businesses and day-to-day activities.

“COVID-19 has not gone away, it is still a risk to us in our communities,” she said.

“We’re still in phase one,” Health Minister Adrian Dix added. “The best place to stay in B.C. is where you live.”

READ MORE: British Columbians can double their ‘pandemic bubble’ mid-May, but no large gatherings

READ MORE: B.C. prepares to restart more retail, services, offices in May

Despite furor on social media over the weekend, Henry said people were largely being “reasonable” as they enjoyed record-breaking heat this weekend.

“The vast majority of them were in small groups, they were sitting apart from each other,” she said.

“We are not taking a punitive approach in this province and that has worked for us.”

Dix echoed Henry’s comments, saying there was a “significant effort” by people in his Joyce-Collingwood riding to follow physical distancing rules.

Given the low case count over the weekend, Henry said she “fully expects” the second phase of B.C.’s reopening to go ahead over the May long weekend. That phase will include small gatherings, dentistry, chiropractic, physiotherapy, in-person counselling, elective surgeries, as well as most day-use in provincial parks as of May 14. More retail businesses will also be able to open with WorkSafeBC guidance and voluntary in-person schooling is set to expand.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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