Provincial health authorities are confirming 12 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., totalling 2,479 with 307 remaining active as of Thursday, May 21st.

As well, recoveries are picking up, as 2,020 people are now symptom-free.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, is reporting three more deaths related to the virus, bringing the total in B.C. to 152.

Dr. Henry said noted that COVID-19 has been impacting men in B.C. more severely than women, but that statistic is not reflected nation-wide.

“It’s interesting that some of the reports from across the county indicate, particularly in Ontario and Quebec where they’ve had the most deaths from COVID-19, that there is a majority of women who have died. That is not the case that we’ve seen here in British Columbia,” said Henry. “Of the total cases we have, 52% or 1,290, have been in women and 48% in men. When we look at the number of people that have been hospitalized or in ICU, that reverses.”

Henry added that 67% of hospitalizations and 64% of ICU visits from the virus have been men. As well, 95 or 62% of B.C.’s COVID-19 related deaths have been men, while 38% or 57 deaths have been women.

In the Interior Health region, the total now sits at 183 so far. Also, according to Dr. Henry, the outbreak at the Windermere Care Centre has been declared over.

Henry offered some reassurance to the public as the second phase of the BC Restart plan is now underway.

“We need to be slow and thoughtful as we move through this. We need to watch carefully, and that is what we are doing in public health in the coming days and weeks,” said Henry. “We’ll work out the kinks in the coming weeks as we gradually open up to that place where we can sustain it for a period of time. We are watching closely, and we all need to continue to commit to those important measures so we don’t lose all the gains that we’ve had in the last few months.”