Henry's comments come after a press conference yesterday, in which she and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix hinted that the strict measures now in place to battle coronavirus could potentially begin to ease up in mid-May, but only if cases continue to decrease.
Flatten the curve? Judging from the detailed modelling she and Health Minister Adrian Dix released Friday, the curve is flattened - for now at least.
Restrictions would be eased in gradually in a way that finds a "sweet spot" that balances our need to connect with loved ones while protecting vulnerable people and not overwhelming our hospitals, Henry said. "So, I think we need to start thinking about planning small events, looking at how we can bring people together virtually". There have been no new cases in long-term care homes and assisted living. On March 18, the NDP government declared a provincial state of emergency.
The models shows that most B.C. residents who have died were over 70 years old, though there has been person in his 40s, and two people in their 60s. The median age of the 349 people hospitalized has been 68.
But the new data does represent a turning point in the tools available to the province to make public health decisions.
"B.C's actual case rate and actual ICU admission rate has been far below what was potential based on other jurisdictions' experience and data".
Some activities that could return in the coming weeks include elective surgeries, but Ackenhusen said during Friday's town hall that that would be done in a measured way.
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On Jan. 30 it said they will collaborate with Chinese biotech company Advaccine based in Beijing, in mass production. It uses the same technology as a shot Gilbert's team previously developed for the related MERS coronavirus.
As for retail businesses that have been shut down, Henry said they should be thinking of how they can reopen while maintaining physical distancing.
Henry said there are not enough people infected in B.C.to have herd immunity. "This is a challenging time around the world and it's not going to be easy to get out of it, but those types of mass gatherings where we have lots of people together, this is not the time for that".
No new cases have been reported today in the Interior Health region, according to B.C.'s health officer.
On the bright side, the province is nearing the thousand mark when it comes to recoveries, as 983 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.
Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of British Columbia, acknowledged Dr. Henry has to approve resumption of the economy, but said it's crucial to do so.
"The difference between what could have been and what actually happened is because of the public health measures we took here in B.C., individually and collectively", she said.
"But we have made considerable progress in our province and it is because of what everybody has done together". The province will also be monitoring things on a two-week basis to see if there are new outbreaks.