Taking temperature: May 2 COVID-19 update

There are 59 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths from the virus in BC since Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 2,171. Of those, 832 cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region and 992 are in the Fraser Health Authority region.

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke to the increase in the number of cases associated with the Kearl Lake industrial plant in Alberta. Henry reminded citizens returning from work in the facility that they are required to self-isolate, and that their family is required to be diligent with practicing physical distancing.

“This disease is spread within families and within communities,” said Henry. “And so this is what we are requiring you to do, recognizing you have no control over whether you have been exposed or not. But we need you to take these measures to protect your families and your communities here in British Columbia.”

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Henry also took a moment to directly address BC’s youth who have had in-person schooling suspended due to the pandemic. According to Henry, the province is committed to ensuring that students who have had in-class schooling suspended due to the pandemic will be supported in catching up once in-class sessions recommence. She also acknowledged that the changes students have had to go through to stay safe can be challenging and anxiety-provoking.

“It’s especially challenging for young people, where their main connections are often related to friends in school. And we know that the in-classroom schooling has been suspended and that can make people feel really overwhelmed and anxious,” said Henry.

Henry also had comments of support for the graduating class of 2020, who have had their graduation celebrations curtailed in the midst of COVID-19.

“You are and will always be unique in the graduating class. It’s been over 100 years since we’ve had an event like this pandemic. Few of us have ever known or will ever experience graduating during the circumstances of a global pandemic,” she said.

Youth and parents are able to contact the Kids Help Line to find access to professional counsellors and to get support on navigating the pandemic as a youth.

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 you can text 1-888-268-4319. For updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, visit ubc.ca/campus-notifications/.