1 new case and 1 death, health officials reported Friday afternoon
B.C. health officials announced just one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, and one more death.
The latest numbers from the province show there are no new community outbreaks, and an outbreak at North Vancouver's Berkley Care Centre is now over.
The province says recent modelling shows it is safe to reopen many businesses, return to school classrooms, and gradually increase social interactions.
However, British Columbians are being asked to remain vigilant.
"We have to be cautious that we don't go too far and risk a resurgence in cases," said Friday's statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Record unemployment in Canada
Statistics Canada reported a record-high unemployment rate of 13.7 per cent on Friday.
The numbers come even as the national economy added 289,600 jobs in May, with several provinces beginning to reopen their economies after months of slowdown.
The rate for the month of May beats the previous high of 13.1 per cent set during the recession in December 1982
B.C.'s provincial unemployment rate rose to 13.4 per cent, according to the agency. Finance Minister Carole James said the province has lost more than 353,000 jobs since the pandemic began, with young people being the most affected.
BC Ferries increases service
BC Ferries announced Friday it will begin increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands as demand is revived. A statement said direct sailings from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands will resume on June 9, including the reopening of the Long Harbour terminal on Salt Spring Island.
Regular service between the Saanich Peninsula (Brentwood Bay) and Vancouver Island (Mill Bay) will resume June 24.
The corporation said the ferries will continue to operate at off-peak service levels for northern and mid-coast communities. It said it will monitor demand on bigger runs linking the Lower Mainland to Nanaimo and Victoria to increase service as needed.
'Minimize, manage and modify'
The latest modelling from the B.C. government shows that despite the gradual reopening of the province over the last few weeks, British Columbians have been cautious about renewing their physical connections and infection rates have stayed low.
"Moving forward, our approach is to 'minimize, manage and modify': minimize the number of new cases, manage cases and clusters with rapid contact tracing, and modify our measures as needed," Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The latest numbers suggest people are still limiting their social contacts to between 30 and 40 per cent of what they were before the pandemic, while B.C.'s infection and death rates remain lower than most other provinces.
So far, B.C. has confirmed 2,632 cases of COVID-19, including 166 people who have died. There are now 201 patients with active cases of the novel coronavirus in the province, of whom 26 are in hospital, including six in intensive care.
Strains traced to Europe and Eastern Canada are by far the largest source of COVID-19 infections in B.C., according to the new modelling released Thursday.
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