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Physical distancing still important as B.C. inches closer to reopening in midst of summer-like weather

Last Updated May 8, 2020 at 7:31 am PST

FILE - Kits Beach. (Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

People are being reminded to continue physical distancing as warmer, summer-like weather takes hold around B.C.

B.C.'s top doctor has said while we may be eager to think we're out of the woods, we still need to fight COVID-19

This week, the B.C. government outlined plans to reopen the economy

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you took a walk along Vancouver’s seawall Thursday afternoon or stopped by a local beach, you probably wouldn’t even guess there was a pandemic.

As B.C. inches closer to reopening in the midst of warmer weather, physical distancing appears to be going out the window. Under a sunny, clear sky, lots of families were out walking or biking and groups of friends were spotted socializing, especially along False Creek, making physical distancing near-impossible.

But, B.C.’s top doctor has said that while we may be eager to think that we’re out of the woods, we still have to keep doing what we’ve been doing over the last two months.

“It’s still very much a necessity for all of us to continue our safe physical distancing, our washing our hands regularly, avoiding non-essential personal travel, and those things are things that will not change,” she said Thursday during her regular COVID-19 update.

This week, the B.C. government outlined plans to reopen the economy, and that included allowing the retail sector, hair salons, restaurants, parks, and beaches to reopen in mid-May. Henry also said that we can look at carefully and slowly reopening our social circles.

“Our mantra for the next little while is going to be few faces and big spaces,” she said. “We want outside, we don’t want people to congregate, we want us to do it in a safe way so that we continue some of the measures that we’ve had to stop transmission of the virus but increase our social connectedness.”

Henry has made it clear that some people should still avoid meeting with others, including those living with seniors or those who already have expanded social circles because of work.

“If we move … too much, too fast, we’re going to see dramatic increases and, again, that will set us back in a whole number of ways.”

On Thursday, Henry announced 33 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the province and another two deaths. Since the outbreak began in B.C., 2,288 people have tested positive for the virus, 1,512 of whom have recovered.