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

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

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Shovels hit the ground in 2019 for the 20-unit Phase 4 project. Those units are nearing completion and Phase 5, another 20 units, has just received funding from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Evergreen Acres receives government funding for Phase 5

An announcement of hundreds of new affordable rental homes came from the… Continue reading

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

(Metro Creative Photo)
Hey kids, time to write up some holiday magic

The contest is open to students and home-schooled students

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read