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B.C. records two new deaths, 26 new COVID cases

Last Updated May 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm PDT

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The provincial health officer reported an additional two deaths related to the coronavirus and 26 new cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement Saturday confirms a total of 114 people in B.C. have died, and the province-wide cases now total 2,171.

But, the number of confirmed cases is only a quarter of what the province had last Saturday.

B.C. is the only province in Canada that has not enabled reopening as of this weekend.

Henry added community outbreaks are still a problem, for example, the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Northern Alberta has lead to infections in that province, and B.C.

“Anybody who has been at the site since March 24 needs to follow our requirements in British Columbia when they are home. And this includes your entire family being very diligent about physical distancing self-isolating on your return,” she told reporters.

And in terms of reopening the economy, she says B.C. must continue to be thoughtful.

Over the course of the pandemic, Henry says the dramatic increases in COVID-19 infections across the border, especially in Washington state, “dramatically” affected how B.C. has responded.

New COVID-19 modelling will be presented on Monday and B.C. Premier John Horgan will consider the numbers in the framework for opening some sectors.

Henry added B.C. can’t follow the same pandemic response plans as other jurisdictions like Sweden and New Zealand because of its proximity to the United States.

Henry also took the time to speak directly to young people in the province, particularly to the class of 2020.

“It can be so challenging … for traditional ceremonies and celebrations that we would expect to have when we make this major transition from high school into the rest of our lives are on hold. Right now, and we won’t be doing them, in the same way, this summer,” she said.

“But take heart. We are thinking about that, and teachers, administrators, and parents are still working to make this an incredibly memorable experience for all of you. And I think you know you need to think about this in that you are and will always be unique in the graduating class.”

The provincial recovery rate is around 63 per cent.