The Cowichan Valley’s Chief Medical Health Officer’s prescription for a COVID-19 free Victoria Day long weekend is to “remain very diligent about our social distancing practices.”

Dr. Shannon Waters says we can’t see the virus, and it’s natural as humans, “to want to be around each other.”

However, she warns the virus is still out there and people need to remember that, “we’re still in a very serious worldwide pandemic.”

Dr. Waters says Vancouver Island, with 126 confirmed cases of COVID 19, has been fortunate during the pandemic.

However, she cautions: “The danger is that there’s a rebound and people feel that because we have a low number of cases on the island, that we know of, that COVID is gone.”

Dr. Waters says the process of re-opening the provincial economy may result in an increase of COVID-19 cases, but the spread of the virus will be closely monitored.

She says health officials are “taking this really seriously and have a really good approach in BC.”

In Thursday’s briefing on COVID-19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix urged people to stay close to home on the long weekend.
They say there are many activities and places for people to safely enjoy: “Stay close to home and enjoy some of the best BC has to offer right in our backyards.”

“Let us use this May long weekend as an opportunity for everyone to put our safe social interaction rules into action.”

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 15 new confirmed cases for a total of 2,392 people infected in British Columbia.

There are currently 372 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 1,885 people who had tested positive have recovered.

There are now 126 cases on Vancouver Island, an increase of one.

Three new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Thursday for a total of 135 in British Columbia.