B.C. public health officials reported only two new cases of COVID-19 May 19, as the province began its second stage of reopening businesses.
One of the new cases was recorded from the 14 care homes that still have outbreaks, along with five acute care units in B.C. hospitals. In health care facilities, there have been 326 residents test positive and 203 staff.
With nearly 2,000 people having recovered, there are now 325 active cases in B.C., mostly recovering at home. There are currently 45 people in acute care hospitals in B.C., 12 in critical care units.
The three additional deaths recorded May 19 were also among patients in care facilities, one in Vancouver Coastal Health Region and two in Fraser Health. There have been 146 people whose death is related to the coronavirus pandemic since it began early this year.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the low total of new cases is encouraging as B.C. begins to reopen restaurants and other businesses.
“For employees, customers and business owners, I want to reassure you that we would not be easing these restrictions if we did not feel we could do so safely,” Henry said. “We can flatten our curve and safely reopen our province.”
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports that more than 118,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been completed in B.C. with more than 1,800 a day at current rates. Public health has been advising people with common symptoms such as dry cough and fever to ask their doctor to be referred for testing.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said non-urgent surgeries have now resumed in all of B.C.’s five health regions, with 49 sites taking surgical patients to begin dealing with 30,000 surgeries that have been delayed due to the pandemic.