Vancouver is delaying the opening of its outdoor pools and will not be providing lifeguards at its beaches for the time being. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s next briefing is today at 3 p.m. PT. British Columbia has recorded a total of 2,360 COVID-19 cases. 131 people have died from COVID-19 in the province.  Of those who have tested positive, 1,832 people have recovered. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said post-secondary students can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit starting on Friday. 

The Vancouver Park Board announced on Wednesday that it will delay the opening of its outdoor pools and providing lifeguards at its swimming beaches, which normally happens during the Victoria Day long weekend. 

The board said the long weekend usually signals the unofficial start to summer, with the park board opening the pools at Second Beach, Kitsilano Beach, New Brighton Park, Maple Grove Park, and Hillcrest Aquatic Centre, as well as by providing lifeguards at public swimming beaches in the city. 

“Unfortunately we are not in a position to open this weekend,” said Daisy Chin, the board’s director of recreation, in a written statement. 

The park board said it and other municipalities are waiting on guidelines from the Lifesaving Society Canada to find out how lifeguards can do their jobs safely. 

The city’s beaches remain open, the park board said, but will not be staffed with lifeguards between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. as they normally would be at this time of year.

Provincial health update at 3 p.m.

The next provincial health update is at 3 p.m. PT today.

On Tuesday, the number of new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in B.C. dropped to the single digits, while the number of active cases outside the Lower Mainland has also nearly dropped below 10.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said only seven new cases had been detected in B.C. in the previous 24 hours. In that time, however, one more person had died.

There are now 63 COVID-19 patients in hospital; 16 of them are in intensive care.

There have been 2,360 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province to date. So far, 131 people have died and 1,832 people have recovered from the illness.

Businesses gearing up

Meanwhile, as B.C. flattens the curve of the pandemic, businesses are preparing to reopen their doors. But the shopping experience may vary from store to store, particularly when it comes to customers being asked to wear face masks. 

Henry has asked people not to stigmatize others for their choice — whether it’s to wear one or not.

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that post-secondary students affected by COVID-19 can start applying for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit starting Friday. 

The CESB provides $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August, and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.

READ MORE: How B.C. plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 10:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, provinces and territories reported a total of 71,157 cases. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 5,283.

The numbers are not a complete picture, as they don’t account for people who haven’t been tested, those being investigated as a potential case and people still waiting for test results. 

For a look at what’s happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick. When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Masks won’t fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at

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