People are seen walking along the seawall in English Bay in Vancouver, Monday, May 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Keep ‘pandemic bubbles’ small, top doctor urges as B.C. prepares to loosen rules

Many measures will remain in place for months, officials say

B.C.’s top doctor urged the province’s residents to keep their “pandemic bubbles” small on Tuesday (May 5), the day before Premier John Horgan is scheduled to relax some COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are not yet through this,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “We are likely at the end of our beginning.”

Henry’s cautious tone came the day after she and Health Minister Adrian Dix released new modelling, which showed that people could eventually double their number of interactions and keep hospitalizations under control. Currently, B.C. is at 30 per cent of usual interactions.

“Don’t start planning your playdates and expanding your bubbles too soon. The orders and restrictions we have put in place are still in place.”

Measures that are, and will remain, key include washing hands frequently, maintaining physical distancing, staying home when sick and taking advantage of the warm weather by going outside, where COVID-19 is less likely to spread. Henry has said in the past that large gatherings are not happening in B.C. this summer and urged people to plan smaller events.

Henry said British Columbians could “consider the use of non-medical masks when physical distancing is not an option.”

Dix said 2020 could be the “summer of renewal” for B.C. as long as people continue to follow the rules.

But it will not be a “normal” summer, Henry said.

“We cannot afford right now to go back to the way we were in December. We’re going to have to be closer to home, find our joy and our fun in our own neighbourhoods.”

Exactly what restrictions will be loosened will be revealed by Horgan Wednesday, but Dix said B.C.’s reopening will not be as dramatic as that in Quebec in Ontario because many businesses here were never closed to begin with.

READ MORE: B.C. sees 8 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths

READ MORE: Officials say B.C. could eventually double interactions without causing new COVID-19 surge

READ MORE: B.C. records 170 ‘excess deaths’ so far during COVID-19 pandemic


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

Rideshare expands into Aldergrove

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read