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Update-

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 21 new cases, for a total of 2,428 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 355 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 1,932 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 49 individuals are hospitalized, 11 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 878 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,184 in the Fraser Health region, 126 in the Island Health region, 181 in the Interior Health region and 59 in the Northern Health region.

"We are saddened to report one new COVID-19 related death in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 141 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends, and caregivers, and to everyone who has lost their loved ones.

"There have been no new health-care outbreaks since the new acute-care outbreak in the Abbotsford Regional Hospital was announced yesterday, involving six staff and two patients. This is an ongoing investigation by the Fraser Health Authority. In total, 15 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and five acute-care units have active cases.

"The public health investigation at the Oppenheimer Group, a vegetable processing plant in Coquitlam is ongoing, and active contract tracing is underway. Public health teams are also continuing to provide support for community outbreaks in the poultry sector, at the Mission Institution and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

"To be effective in Phase 2 of our B.C. Restart Plan, we have to move carefully. We know that in the early stages of illness, the symptoms of COVID-19 are often mild and hard to recognize. This means we must stay alert and vigilant.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.

(Previous numbers in brackets)

New Cases – 21

Total Cases – 2,428 (2,407)

Patients in Hospital – 21 (52)

Patients in ICU – 11 (12)

Recovered – 1,932 (1,908)

New Deaths – 1

Totals Deaths – 141 (140)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 878 (878)

Fraser – 1,184 (1,164)

Island – 126 (126)

Interior – 181 (181)

Northern – 59 (58)

More to come.

 

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bc news

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 15 new cases, for a total of 2,407 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 359 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 1,908 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 51 individuals are hospitalized, 12 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 878 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,164 in the Fraser Health region, 126 in the Island Health region, 181 in the Interior Health region and 58 in the Northern Health region.

"We are saddened to report five new COVID-19 related deaths, four in the Fraser Health region and one in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 140 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these five individuals, and to everyone who has lost their loved ones.

"There has been one new acute-care outbreak at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital. In total, 15 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and five acute-care units have active cases.

"There has also been one new community outbreak with two confirmed cases at the Oppenheimer Group, a fruit and vegetable processing plant in Coquitlam. The public health investigation is ongoing, active contract tracing is underway and the plant remains open at this time.

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Hwy 5a

Highway 5A has officially reopened to single lane alternating traffic between Merritt and Kamloops.

The road was closed due to flooding at Stump Lake.

Drive BC tells drivers to expect delays when using the route.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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MSS

Parents will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis this school year as part of BC's Restart Plan, with the goal of returning to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so.

"British Columbians have worked hard to flatten our curve. As we move into the next phase of our pandemic plan after the May long weekend, the science shows us that we're ready to bring students back to school safely on a gradual and part-time basis," said Premier John Horgan. "This will be welcome news for many families who have struggled to adjust to remote and online learning, and for parents who are going back to work. At every step, we will move slowly and make health and safety our top priority. B.C. has done well under the guidance of our provincial health officials, and now is the time to take this next step together."

To make sure schools are safe for students and staff, the number of students in school each day will be reduced, with most receiving in-class instruction part time. School districts will determine scheduling for classes and transportation arrangements. For kindergarten to Grade 5, this means most students will go to school half time (such as alternating days), while grades 6 to 12 will go to school about one day a week. Children of essential service workers and students needing additional supports will have the option to attend school full time. Families that decide not to send their children to class may continue learning from home.

"School is the place where kids learn how to connect with others and grow together, and it's incredibly important for students who need extra support to get more time with their teachers and support workers," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. "We've looked at what measures other jurisdictions are putting in place and we're taking direction from our provincial health officials, so students, educators and staff know we're taking every precaution to protect their health and safety."

Health and safety;

All boards of education and independent school authorities will be required to implement strict provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC health and safety measures to reduce the risk COVID-19 transmission, including:

* desks spaced apart and avoiding groups or gatherings of students in hallways or other common areas;

* regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, keyboards and desks at least twice a day, and cleaning the school building at least once a day;

* students, educators, and staff will be required to clean their hands before entering school property, and there will be more hand-sanitizing and cleaning stations available, with well-stocked supplies;

* staggered drop-offs, lunch and recess breaks, with increased outside time;

* staff and students (or their parents/guardians) must assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19. If any student or staff member has even mild symptoms, arrangements will be made for that person to be returned home;

* one student per seat on school buses, unless children are from the same house, with plexiglass separating the bus driver from students; and

Gradual approach;

The Ministry of Education has developed a five-stage approach to operate schools, depending on risk of transmission. Schools will also have plans in place for each stage, ensuring they are ready to make changes if there is a risk of transmission, a second wave or a community outbreak.

Each school district and independent school must have its return-to-class and safety plans approved by the ministry before moving to the next stage. The plans will be posted on each district's website for families to access. The ministry will support boards of education and independent school authorities in building these plans, and operations during the pandemic will be regularly monitored.

Since returning to class is voluntary and most students will be attending part time, school leaders will contact families to make arrangements for children to return to in-class instruction. If parents have not heard from their schools by May 22, 2020, they are asked to contact their principal. Parents and caregivers are advised to follow the schedule provided for their child to ensure a safe and orderly restart.

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Interior Health

An order by Interior Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer (MHO) closing all fitness centres, gyms, yoga studios or similar personal training facilities will be lifted on May 19.

The order, issued April 2, is being rescinded in accordance with B.C.’s Restart Plan Phase 2. This will allow these facilities to re-open as long as they can meet requirements to protect staff and clients against the spread of COVID-19.

Any facility wishing to resume operation must develop a plan based on measures laid out by the Provincial Health Office.

Guidance for facility operators and for the public related to gyms and other fitness facilities is now available on the Interior Health website. Facility operators may also contact their local Environmental Health Office.

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