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

Dave Heinrichs, general manager of Alberni District Co-op, and Paulette Schwartz, manager of the Liquor Depot. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Co-op buys Liquor Depot in Port Alberni

Co-op members in Port Alberni will soon be able to enjoy their benefits when purchasing liquor

An air ambulance leaves West Coast General Hospital for a trauma centre at 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 after a Port Alberni youth was injured in an accident on the Somass River. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO
COVID-19 outbreak hits West Coast General Hospital

One unit closed; emergency department still open

Community Policing volunteers Ricky Paul and Gerry Stewart patrol the parking lot at Northport Plaza on Thursday, Nov. 19. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni community policing launches Crime Watch

New program will be ‘extra eyes and ears’ for the police

Tim Sutherland Sr. likes to go down to Harbour Quay and feel the breeze on his face. On stormy days when the wind whips the rain into his face, he thinks of his son Tim Sutherland Jr., and wonders whether he is warm and dry. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Finding shelter from the storm

Search for housing a journey of false hope for Alberni father and adult son

Volunteers decorate the Alberni Valley Hospice Society on Saturday, Nov. 28. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Alberni Valley Hospice Society lights up for holidays

New event is a fundraiser for society that runs Ty Watson House hospice and other programs

12-year-old Ella Smiley captured some video of orcas on a sea lion hunt on Nov. 28 at Kitty Coleman Park, just north of Courtenay. Photo by Ella Smiley
VIDEO: Orcas hunt sea lion near Vancouver Island shoreline

Twelve-year-old Ella Smiley, of Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings, caught up with a… Continue reading

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

Most Read