B.C. at ‘precipice’ in COVID-19 fight

·2 min read

B.C. is at a “precipice” in its fight against COVID-19, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry today.

“If we start to see rapid transmission, then we could be in a position where we’re having way more transmission in our communities than what we’re having now,” said Henry.

Averaging 500 new cases a day is “too many,” she said. It leaves B.C. at a brink where rapid takeoff is possible, particularly if new variants begin to transmit in the community.

“Over the next two weeks, I believe we can bend our curve. Not just plateau, but bend it back down,” said Henry. “This is the most challenging of times for us. It’s not the time to falter, despite us being tired and frustrated and wanting it to be over. We need to hang in there. We are so close, but we need to do this now.”

Testing for variants of the virus has yielded five cases of the so-called United Kingdom variant and three of the South African variant in B.C. While the former cases are linked to travel or related to close contact, all three cases of the South African variant were acquired in the community and are not linked to travel—nor are they linked to each other.

There were 1,344 new cases in B.C. over the weekend, practically the same as last weekend’s number. This includes 527 from Friday to Saturday, 471 from Saturday to Sunday and a further 346 in the last 24 hours. Three of the weekend’s cases are epidemiologically linked.

Of the new cases, 314 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 618 in the Fraser Health region, 73 in the Island Health region, 234 in the Interior Health region, 104 in the Northern Health region and one in a person who normally lives outside Canada.

There are 4,392 active cases and 328 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 68 of whom are in critical care. Some 6,607 people are being monitored by public health.

Eleven outbreaks around the province have been declared over, including at Richmond’s Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge where 41 people were infected (27 residents and 14 staff members) and seven residents died.

A further 26 people lost their lives over the weekend due to the virus. To date, 119,850 vaccines have been delivered, including 3,193 second doses.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel