As the number of new cases of COVID-19 stays low, and the number of people who have recovered from the virus increases, British Columbia's recovery rate keeps rising. On May 13, the rate stood at more than 78.2%: 1,859 recoveries out of 2,376 people infected. That is a record high since the first case was discovered in January.
Just four days ago, the rate cllimbed above the 70% barrier for the first time, and was 71.2%. The increasing rate is important as a gauge to determine how successful the province has been in helping patients overcome the virus.
B.C.'s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry on May 13 said that there were only 16 new cases in the past 24 hours.
There are 59 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province, down four from yesterday. The hospitalizations include 14 people who are in intensive care units. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that more hospital procedures are being done, meaning that there are fewer empty hospital beds. B.C. hospitals are now approximately 66.6% occupied, with 3,700 empty beds, Dix said. Pre-pandemic, hospitals were about 103% occupied, including people in hallways.
Dix said May 7 that the government would start reaching out to patients to see if they are ready and willing to have surgeries performed. The government would also start screening these patients and putting in place plans to conduct those surgeries.
He said that he expected to start conducting these surgeries on May 18, increasing surgery capacity during the next four weeks to what Dix considers to be a level near what it was pre-pandemic.
One person has died from the virus in the past 24 hours, making the province's death toll from the disease 132.
The breakdown of cases so far by health region are:
• 877 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up three in the past day);
• 1,137 in Fraser Health (up 13 in the past day);
• 125 in Island Health (no new cases in the past day);
• 180 in Interior Health (no new cases in the past day); and
• 57 in Northern Health (no new cases in the past day).
There remain 20 seniors' facilities that have outbreaks. That includes 15 homes and five acute-care units. So far, the pandemic has infected 299 residents of seniors' homes in B.C., and 190 workers at those homes.
Henry urged individuals and business owners to think about their own circumstances when deciding what protective measures to take, instead of thinking about a blanket rule.
"I understand that lots of people really want clear rules that apply to everybody but the reality is that our path forward is individual based on our own unique circumstances," she said. "That goes for businesses as well."
Large stores, and department stores, for example, "can have more than 50 people if they can maintain enough space between people so that there isn't congregating and crowding."