There are 71 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 new deaths from the virus in BC today, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 1,795. Of those cases, 745 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region.
There are 103 people with the virus who are hospitalized in BC, of whom 46 are in critical care.
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new $9-billion fund to ease the economic hardships many students across the country are facing. Students who are eligible for the benefits can claim $1,250 per month from May through August. More funding is also available for students with disabilities or who claim dependents on their taxes.
In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed the continued appearance of new community outbreaks in BC.
Following the announcement yesterday of an outbreak of 28 cases related to the United Poultry Company in Vancouver and the announcement today of 3 new outbreaks in long-term care centres in the Fraser Health Authority, Henry stressed that it is still crucial for people to remain committed to following public health measures.
“This tells us that we have more work to do to break the chains of transmission in our communities and to make sure that every individual, every business, every community, every family does what we need to do to break these chains,” she said.
Henry put particular emphasis on the role that businesses have to play in breaking those chains by not penalizing employees for staying home when they are sick and ensuring appropriate physical distancing measures are in the workplace to protect employees.
While the epidemic curve has been flattening in BC, Henry stressed that public health measures could not be safely relaxed until the province sees a decline in both new cases and new outbreaks. She noted that the potential mid-May timeline to begin relaxing such measures is a best-case scenario.
“Until we clear this hurdle, we can’t begin to make changes,” she said.
Stay up to date on UBC information related to COVID-19 by visiting ubyssey.ca/covid-19, the websites of the BCCDC, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization. The province has set up a dedicated COVID-19 phone line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319. For updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, visit ubc.ca/campus-notifications/