New COVID-19 cases in B.C. decreasing

Provincial health officer says easing of restrictions to be announced soon

The number of new COVID-19 infections in B.C. continues to fall, and in the days to come British Columbians can look forward to announcements of plans to ease of some restrictions, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said Monday.

However, she would not say which types of services and businesses will be allowed to open first.

There were 39 new COVID-19 cases between Friday and Saturday, and 11 since Sunday, bringing the total to 1,998, with 1,190 of those people now recovered.

There have been three additional deaths since Saturday, and two additional long-term care facilities with at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, bringing the total of care homes and assisted living facilities with infections to 21. The two new cases at long term care homes are at Valhaven Home and MSA Manor.

Outside of care homes, there have been outbreaks at two poultry processing plants. A total of 25 workers at Superior Poultry have tested positive, and 34 at United Poultry, Henry said. There are a total of 118 cases at a federal prison in Mission.

Henry said there have also been 11 British Columbians infected from an outbreak at the Kearl Lake oilsands work camp in Alberta.

Despite some of these community outbreaks, the trend of new cases is going down, as are the number of patients in intensive care.

“We’re now seeing a decrease in numbers,” Henry said, adding, "we are getting close to that time where we can start to open up."

“We're now making plans to ease restrictions, with the understanding of what we might face in the coming months," she said.

Asked about when schools might reopen to some students, Henry said: "I think it's safe to say we're not thinking about school over the summer.

"I expect there will be some children coming back to school before the end of this session, but what that looks like is still being worked out."

Here are the COVID-19 numbers for Monday, April 27, compared with numbers from the last reporting period, April 25 (a 48-hour period), in brackets:

New cases: 50 (95)

Total: 1,998 (1,948)

Recovered: 1,190 (1,137)

Hospitalized: 97 (96)

Intensive care: 36 (41)

Deaths: 103 (100)

Long-term care, assisted living: 21 (19)

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