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B.C. urges Mother’s Day caution as it announces 2 COVID-19 deaths, 15 new cases

Biggest one day drop in active COVID-19 cases since pandemic began
Biggest one day drop in active COVID-19 cases since pandemic began

B.C.’s top doctor is pleading with the public to maintain physical distancing as the province celebrates Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the comments Saturday, as she announced two new deaths and 15 new cases of COVID-19.

Henry said while B.C. has made significant progress fighting the virus, now is not the time to let up on key measures to stop its spread.

Fears weekend of sunshine will set B.C. back on social distancing
Fears weekend of sunshine will set B.C. back on social distancing
“Let’s show how much we care for [our mothers] by ensuring we are doing all we can do to ensure they are safe. Safe physical distance remains an important part of what we need to do right now in British Columbia to keep all of our mothers and our communities safe,” said Henry.
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“This is a great weekend to spend time with her outdoors, keeping your safe distance.”

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Henry said precautions are doubly important for anyone whose mother is older, has an upcoming surgery, or has an underlying illness.

Henry also touched on widespread reports of people congregating in groups at parks and beaches amid the warm weather.

Coronavirus outbreak: BC’s top doctor says they need to find ‘sweet spot’ in social interaction
Coronavirus outbreak: BC’s top doctor says they need to find ‘sweet spot’ in social interaction

She said while the province has announced plans to begin reopening after the May long weekend, the province is not there yet.

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“We are not yet ready to move into Phase Two … which means we must all continue to do what we have been doing,” she said.

That means no close contact with people who aren’t members of our households and no gathering in groups, said Henry. Even when we do reach Phase Two, Henry said we will have to cautiously expand our social circles, and life won’t look anything like it did before the pandemic.

However, Henry said she also believes the majority of people are doing the right thing.

“I think what we see is a visible minority of people, but because they’re outside we do see them,” said Henry.”

“We need to remind people that we’re not yet safe from this virus.”

Henry said while the number of new cases has continued to drop, the province is still detecting cases not linked to any known outbreak — meaning the virus is still spreading in the community.

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B.C. has now recorded 129 COVID-19 deaths and confirmed 2,330 cases of the virus. More than 71 per cent of those patients have now recovered.

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As of Saturday, there were 67 people in hospital with COVID-19, 21 of them in intensive care.

B.C. residents are being reminded to maintain two metres of physical distance in public, to avoid non-essential travel, to frequently wash their hands and to stay home if possible, particularly if at all sick.