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B.C.'s top doctor stands by province's reopening plan

Last Updated May 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm PDT


The provincial health officer says she doesn't regret how the reopening process for B.C. has gone so far

Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. must still be cautious as it opens gradually

Phase 2 of B.C.'s reopening plan starts next week, Henry says to keep groups small

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Despite some confusion heading into the second phase of reopening, the provincial health officer says she doesn’t have any regrets about the process.

“I don’t know if we can regret something that has not yet happened. We do the best that we can. We’ve never done this before,” Dr. Bonnie Henry says. “Around the world, we’re watching what others are doing, we’re trying to learn from that, take things slow and thoughtful.”

This comes as the province’s recovery rate for COVID-19 has improved to almost 79 per cent, but also as more cases are still being recorded.

Ahead of the B.C.’s gradual reopening, starting next week, Henry says the province will be watching closely.

“To err on the side of caution the best we can. What we really need to do is make sure we have things in place that are safe for our employees, safe for our customers, and so that we can all be confident that we’re doing the right thing and that we’re going to get through. We know that WorkSafe is working hard on the employee part of it.”

Some employees from hair salons, dental offices, and childcare facilities have expressed concern about reopening, especially with what they say is little guidance from the province.

RELATED: B.C. dental offices will not return to regular practice next week

The B.C. Dental Association has indicated it will be gradually reopening but has not provided specific dates yet.

Henry also says it will take 14 to 28 days to assess Phase 2 of reopening, and the third part won’t move ahead unless there is no dramatic increase in the transmission of the virus.

“Let’s use this May-long weekend as an opportunity to put our safe-direction rules into action,” Henry says.

She acknowledges the toll the pandemic has had on mental health, and says she runs and mediates as a way to take care of herself.

“In terms of my own mental health, it’s been a challenging few months, let’s just say.”

But she says thinking about the important people in her life, helps her keep going.

On Thursday, the province recorded 15 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as three more people have died from the virus.

-With files from Mike Hall