Phase three of B.C.'s restart expected soon as province reports 32 new cases

There has been one new death related to COVID-19 since Friday

B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday the third phase of the province’s restart plan is anticipated to begin soon, as B.C. reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday.

There are 182 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. Fourteen of those individuals are in hospitals, and six in critical care.

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Another person has died due to COVID-19 since the province’s last update on Friday.

On Monday, Henry reminded residents to remain careful as British Columbians book travel plans in B.C.

“I want to remind everyone that we always have a fire forest fire risk in the summer months,” she said. “Be extra vigilant when enjoying the outdoors.”

She also encouraged travellers to plan ahead so as to reduce dependency on local communities.

"If you're going to a smaller community, make sure you check ahead," she said, noting some communities will not be open to visitors this year.

“No matter what your summer plans may entail and where you may be, be respectful and be understanding of the communities that you’re going to.”

Anybody coming from outside of Canada is subject to both a federal and provincial quarantine period. There remain restrictions on who can enter the country – those travelling on essential business, for example, or those with certain family reunification plans.

Henry said she is "not particularly worried" about Canadians from outside of British Columbia travelling to the province, but that increased travel within B.C. will likely lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19.

"Chances are we are going to have more cases. We know that," Henry said. "I think it's really important for us to recognize that we're in a balancing act here. We are going to see more cases, but we all need to do our bit to keep them as low as possible."

Physical distancing measures and the province’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people remain in place, and will remain in place across all phases of B.C.’s restart plan.   

Premier John Horgan is expected to provide more information this week on when B.C.’s third phase will begin.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization reported the largest single-day increase in COVID-19  cases – the addition of 180,020 cases globally.

B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix said new numbers around the world show that the need to maintain physical distancing measures has increased.

“It has also shown us where we must accelerate change in health, in business, in our communities, our society and ourselves," he said.

hwoodin@biv.com

@hayleywoodin

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