Develop your circle in a thoughtful way, advises Henry

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Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Government of British Columbia photo)

By Lyonel Doherty

Now that many people are widening their social circles, the highest health official in the province urges them to do so with caution.

Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, said it was okay to take friends in your hangout. It’s okay to kiss your grandparents, especially your teenage sons and daughters.

In his update this afternoon, Henry reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, bringing the total to 2288, including 179 cases in the home health region (no change from yesterday) .

Henry said there are currently 21 active long-term care outbreaks affecting 280 patients and 180 staff.

There are still 98 cases associated with three poultry plants in British Columbia and 134 inmates affected by COVID-19 at the Mission Correctional Center.

Henry said another lingering concern was on 16 BC. cases associated with the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

A total of 76 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in British Columbia, including 21 in intensive care. Two other people have died since yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths in British Columbia. to 126.

Henry alluded to the province’s restart plan (presented yesterday), saying that phase 2 would not start until after the long weekend in May. Therefore, she urged people to be patient and to continue what they were doing to protect themselves.

“Please continue to stay at home as much as possible,” she advised.

Henry said the restart plan doesn’t mean everyone should adopt it. It really depends on their situation.

She noted that some restaurants, bars and hair salons chose not to open during Phase 2.

“We don’t expect everyone to follow the same plan. “

Although individual business plans do not have to be submitted for approval, they must be posted publicly, she said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said they are continuing to work on single site proposals for long-term care workers, making sure to work only on one site to prevent the spread of COVID- 19.

He recognized that Mother’s Day on May 10 will be very difficult for many people whose mothers are in long-term care.

During question period, Henry was asked to provide advice on expanding the circles of friends. How much is too much?

She advised people to be very careful not to widen their circle of contacts when caring for elderly relatives.

Start small, she says. For example, “double your bubble”. If you have two people overnight, don’t extend it to four different people the next night, said Henry.

She also discouraged the children from having meetings with other children right now.

Henry was asked when B.C. could review the concerts. She responded by saying that it would not happen this summer or not at all this year. She said a previous conference had resulted in 87 people affected by COVID-19.

“No one in the world is talking about organizing mass rallies right now.”

Henry said she was not planning to go to concerts until a treatment or vaccine was found.

Nor does she soon see the resumption of religious gatherings.

But she said they were working with sports associations on guidelines to restart sports events in British Columbia.

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