Health

BC health officials announce 53 new coronavirus cases, three more deaths

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"This year, with so much unknowns, will be unusual", Henry said. Most of these, said Dr. Henry, were in young, healthy women, with a recovery rate of 85 per cent.

"Our goal in the next month is to learn how we can live with this virus".

On Monday, for the first time since April 17, British Columbians received an update on the province's latest epidemiological modelling covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three more people have died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, all of whom were residents at long-term care homes in the Lower Mainland, bringing the province's COVID-19 death toll to 117.

"This is, I believe, the end of our beginning of this pandemic", Dr. Henry said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.

There are 72 people in hospital with the virus across B.C., which is down from 79 yesterday and 82 on Thursday. An increase to 60 per cent of normal social contact would likely result in a small rise in cases, Henry said, but at a level the healthcare system will be able to cope with.

There are now 23 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities, which collectively reported 13 new cases since Saturday.

As for precisely which activities people in B.C. will be able to do with a doubling of interactions, Henry emphasized a lot would rely on individual discretion, with people continuing to avoid large gatherings as much as possible. "Our challenge and our work together is to find that sweet spot". "And there are things we can do that make these types of contacts - these increased contacts with people - safer as well". "Here in B.C., we are requiring people who have come back from working in that facility to self-isolate whilst they're in B.C.", Henry says.

Henry said 26 more test-positive confirmed cases have been discovered in the past day. We are now entering a new phase where we must be equally vigilant and equally committed to protecting our loved ones, our seniors and Elders, our health-care workers and our communities. Data has shown men, people over 50 and people with chronic health conditions are the greatest risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

"COVID-19 has forced us to make some very hard decisions - actions we've not had to take in our lifetime".

There are now 77 people in acute care in hospital and 20 are in critical care.

"We haven't stopped the vehicle and it's very unlikely that we're going to be able to do that in the coming months", she said.

Dr. Henry and Minister Dix are also providing an update on the province's epidemiological modelling this afternoon.

"In the first reporting period through May 3, we had 34 new cases, for a total of 2,205 cases in British Columbia".

Henry said modelling data tracking COVID-19 in B.C. from January 1 to April 29 reveals the spread of the virus has been declining since physical distancing measures were introduced, and schools, restaurants and bars were closed in mid-March.

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