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

COVID-19 case confirmed at Highstreet Walmart in Abbotsford

Fraser Health sends out letter to those who might have had contact with individual

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Call for support of Black Lives Matter movement in Mission

Over 200 signs hung around city showing solidarity with victims of police brutality

Investigators comb through Chilliwack house following standoff

RCMP say investigation involves report of an early morning shooting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read