It's definitely not a contest, but there's a huge difference in how hard the novel coronavirus is hitting Canadian provinces. COVID-19 cases in B.C. just hit a milestone with the lowest numbers we've seen since mid-March. Meanwhile, Ontario is still reporting hundreds of cases a day.
In her daily news update on Tuesday, May 5, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that just eight new cases were confirmed. In addition, 1,472 people have fully recovered and there have been 2,232 cases in total.
During a similar update in Ontario, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and Associate Chief Dr. Barbara Yaffe announced 387 new cases. This brings their provincial total 18,310.
They also announced 61 new deaths from the infection. However, Williams was optimistic and said they're hoping to see a continued "downward trend" moving forward.
To put that into context, this is the second day in a row that Ontario reported fewer than 400 new cases.
While the difference in numbers is shocking, it's important to remember the provinces have very different populations, population densities, and regulations in place. For example, unlike other provinces, B.C. didn't fully shut down all businesses when the pandemic started.
Both B.C. and Ontario have announced plans already to reopen their provinces and economies. Earlier, Ontario Premier Doug Ford even stated that they could reopen "a lot sooner than we thought."
This comes after Ford dashed the province's hopes by announcing they won't be reopening by Sunday, May 24 after all.
However, the downward slope is giving him new confidence. Ontario has previously outlined a detailed plan for reopening its economy.
Meanwhile, across the country, B.C. is eyeing reopening as well. They haven't announced any solid plans just yet, but they've made it clear that it will be coming eventually.
With so few cases, they've teased what their process could look like — but unlike other provinces, they haven't pointed out any specific dates or made any concrete plans just yet.
B.C. also has had fewer cases than its next-door neighbour, Alberta which has almost 6,000 reported cases.
While all of our top doctors across the province have become mini-celebs in their own right, B.C.'s Dr. Bonnie Henry could be the envy of them all as she's overseen fewer cases while bringing in fewer restrictions overall.