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No early starts: B.C. top doctor against idea to reopen low-case areas

Last Updated Jun 2, 2020 at 5:56 pm PDT

(Courtesy: (L) The Canadian Press (R) B.C. Government)

B.C. Liberal leader suggests province starts reopening some regions sooner than others

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is asking the premier if a region-by-region approach to reopening is possible

At this point, Dr. Bonnie Henry says a coordinated provincial approach is how B.C. has kept the case numbers low

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province’s top doctor is shutting down the B.C. Liberal leader’s idea to allow low-case areas in the province to reopen sooner than other areas.

Andrew Wilkinson issued a statement recommending the B.C. government work with Dr. Bonnie Henry to “explore the possibility of a region-specific approach to safely accelerate reopening parts of the province with low case counts when it is safe to do so.”

“It’s clear, based on the evidence, that some regions and industries have been hit harder than others across the province. It seems reasonable to at least consider tailored, regional reopening plans based on the specific case counts of each region,” Wilkinson said.

“I’ve sent a letter to the Premier today [Tuesday] asking government to look at lifting more restrictions in regions with lower case counts such as Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, the Kootenays, and the North to get people back to work and bring in much-needed revenue for business sooner.”

Although, during the province’s daily update, Henry said unless there is good evidence to change what’s working, they won’t.

“The things that have allowed us to manage this pandemic in the way we have, and to keep our overall numbers low, is because we’ve had a coordinated provincial approach,” she said.

B.C. recorded four new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and no new deaths.

A coordinated provincial approach is how Henry says B.C. has kept the case numbers low.

“At this point, this approach has really served us well. And I think we should have a continued approach unless there’s good evidence that there’s a reason not to.”

-With files from Nikitha Martins