Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents B.C.’s first COVID-19 model for hospital preparation, March 27, 2020. (B.C. government)

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

Dr. Bonnie Henry calls this week ‘the end of our beginning’

The number of deaths in B.C. is up 2.7 per cent above normal since COVID-19 infections began to be detected in February, with most of those attributable to the coronavirus and its effect on vulnerable populations.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released B.C.’s latest disease modelling data May 4, showing a continued decline in people sick enough to be in hospital, as the province prepares to loosen movement and business restrictions. Statistics show there were 170 deaths more than the expected level from January to late April, with 111 of those attributed to COVID-19. Of the 60 additional deaths, some of that may be a result of people avoiding hospital care due to the pandemic.

“This is I believe the end of our beginning of this pandemic,” Henry said, after releasing the latest two days of positive test data showing 53 new cases from May 2 to 4.

Henry released model projections showing increased unprotected contact between people and their risk of increasing the number of cases, as hospital space is returned to scheduled surgeries and other non-COVID-19 medical conditions.

Premier John Horgan is expected to announce specific measures to allow more business and social movement after the B.C. cabinet meets on Wednesday, May 6.

RELATED: B.C. records three more COVID-19 deaths in care homes

RELATED: B.C. extends temporary layoff rules due to COVID-19

“We need to do that now in a controlled way, in a managed way, in a safe way,” Henry said, using the example of inviting friends over in the summer.

“When you invite one person outside of your immediate household bubble into your home, you are also inviting all of the people in their bubble, the people they’ve had contact with,” Henry said. “And that includes people from their work, from their home and others that they’ve had close contact with.”

Physical distance strategies and creating safe ways of interacting are important to keep the infection rate from taking off, she said.

“We’re going to be working on increasing our environmental cleaning, considering the use of non-medical masks and of course we need to consider as well our non-essential travel and how we’re going to manage that through the summer months.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read