B.C. state of emergency extended for two weeks
The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, reached out to hundreds of thousands of British Columbian teens on Wednesday, giving advice on how to socialize during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Make sure when you are going out it is with one small group of people, and only one small group of people. Don’t change it up every day, that is not going to be helpful right now,” said Henry, referring to the 260,000 teens in the province aged 15-19.
“When you are out, don’t share things like drinks or fries. Go outside if you can, rather than going inside. If you are going to hang out inside, stay apart and sit apart as much as possible, and keep your visit shorter.”
Henry said that with phase 2 of the B.C. Restart Plan set to being next Tuesday, teens would begin socializing physically again.
“If you are thinking about adding others to your bubble, to your small group that you have gone through the first part of this pandemic with, then keep your group small,” she said.
“Find those people that it’s important for you to spend the time with, and keep that group small and consistent. Make an agreement with them that you will be part of their bubble and they can be part of yours.”
Henry reported 16 fresh cases of COVID-19 in B.C. between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday, bringing the total reported to 2,376.
She said there had been one death in the same period. That person, like most of the 132 COVID-19 deaths in the province so far, was from a long-term care home.
There were 385 active cases in B.C., with 59 of those in hospital, including 14 in intensive care.
There are 15 outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living homes and five in acute care wards. Henry said 190 staff at those 20 facilities were sick with COVID-19.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said that 20,165 urgent surgeries had been performed between March 16 and May 10. These occurred as over 16,000 other non-urgent surgeries were cancelled to free up space for COVID-19 patients that has not been needed.
Dix urged people not to travel over the coming Victoria Day long weekend. He said if you did travel, then bring your own food and don’t expect to shop in the communities that were being visited.
Also on Wednesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said more than 2,000 old and abandoned wells in northern B.C. would be cleaned up as part of a make-work program to help contractors impacted by COVID-19.
Horgan said the federal government had committed $120 million to the cleanup program. This was expected to create 1,200 jobs.
Horgan also extended the B.C. state of emergency for another two weeks.
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Bruce Ralston said there were three types of old mines and wells that would be cleaned up — dormant, orphan and legacy.
Ralston said there were 7,685 dormant wells in the province. These were wells that were active for five years and would not be returned to service.
There are 357 orphan sites, where the driller has abandoned the project and cannot be reached or have gone bankrupt.
Legacy sites are old and abandoned mines and wells that are negatively impacting the environment and B.C. communities.
Ralston said $100 million would go to clean dormant wells, $15 million for orphan sites and $5 million for legacy sites.
He said the government was seeking community input to determine which mines and well sites should be cleaned up.
Original Link: https://www.healthing.ca/news/dr-henry-gives-b-c-teens-advice-as-phase-2-of-restart-set-to-begin