COVID-19 cases rise steadily while B.C. looks ahead to reopening economy

The 33 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the past 24 hours was the highest in four days

bonnie may 7
B.C. provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses media | B.C. government

B.C. continues to rack up significant numbers of new COVID-19 infections even as the province has announced plans for how it plans to loosen restrictions and reopen the economy.

B.C. on May 7 recorded 33 new infections in the past day, for a total of 2,288 total infections since the first case was recorded in January. This is the highest total of new cases in a day since Sunday, when 34 new infections were discovered. It is also the second consecutive rise. Eight new cases were confirmed on May 5 and 23 cases were confirmed on May 6.

About 66% of infected people in the province have fully recovered.

Of those still sick, 76 people are in hospital, with 20 of those in intensive care. Two infected people have died in the past day, for a total of 126.

The breakdown of cases so far by health region are:
• 865 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 1,064 in Fraser Health;
• 126 in Island Health;
• 179 in Interior Health; and
• 54 in Northern Health.

There were no new outbreaks at seniors' living or acute-care facilities. So far, there have been outbreaks at 39 of those facilities, including 21 where active outbreaks remain, and 18, where the outbreaks have been declared officially over. The one home where the outbreak has been declared over in the past 24 hours is Burnaby's Swedish Canadian Manor.

There are also no new outbreaks in the community.

Four outbreaks have been identified at poultry plants, and Henry mentioned three as being active outbreaks: Chilliwack’s Fraser Valley Specialty, where there are seven cases; East Vancouver’s United Poultry, where there are 35 cases; and Coquitlam’s Superior Poultry, where there are 56 cases.

There are 134 people who have tested positive in connection with the federal medium-security Mission Institution, either as inmates or workers.

The outbreak at Alberta's Kearl Lake oilsands work camp has spawned 16 positive cases among workers who returned to B.C.  

This new data comes a day after Premier John Horgan released guidelines that will shape how sectors of B.C.’s economy are to reopen over the following weeks and months. To read more about that, click here

Despite that opening provincial health officer Bonnie Henry raised the specter that there will be a second wave of the virus.

"Maybe there won't be a second wave," she said. "Every other pandemic in recorded history has had at least two waves. Whether the second wave will be more severe than the first, whether there will be a series of smaller waves, I don't know. I don't think anybody knows. There are a lot of theories around the world. What I do know is that we need to keep putting the pressure on this virus to make sure that it doesn't take off."

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom