Three deaths, but only two new cases of COVID-19, as in British Columbia. start to reopen

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Health officials have announced three new deaths and only two new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia. Tuesday, as the second phase of the province’s reopening plan begins.

The number of new cases is the lowest since March 6.

Tuesday marks the first time that the number of deaths from COVID-19 has exceeded the number of new cases.

The three deaths, all of which are related to long-term care facilities, bring the number of COVID-19 deaths in British Columbia to 146.

Forty-five patients are hospitalized, a decrease of two since Monday, while the number of people in intensive care remains unchanged at 12.

Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were no new outbreaks in the community in the province.

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Henry said Monday that residents must remember to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene as businesses start operating under a “new standard”.

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Restaurants, cafes, pubs, retail and office space, personal services, libraries, museums and daycares, as well as parks, beaches and recreational facilities, are all allowed to reopen .

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Coronavirus: which B.C. services can start reopening on Tuesday, May 19?

“I want to reassure you that we would not ease these restrictions if we did not think we could do it safely,” said Henry.

“We can safely smooth out our curve and reopen our province, but we have to go slowly.”

Business owners who choose to reopen must have a visible plan in place that meets public health guidelines.

The public can report non-compliant companies to their local public health authority, which can conduct inspections, added Henry.

The first step is to educate companies that don’t follow the guidelines, rather than fines or order closings, she said, although health officials may order a shutdown. they believe there is a risk to the public.

“We need to make sure everyone thinks about it and that they implement the plans they have made and that they work,” said Henry. “This is the approach we will take. “

– With files from Amy Judd and the Canadian Press

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