BC not changing COVID-19 response as case counts continue to surge

Apr 6 2021, 5:28 pm

On a day that BC recorded its second-highest one-day COVID-19 case count, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated the provincial response to the pandemic will remain largely the same as it’s been thus far.

“As expected, an increasing number of new cases of COVID-19 are variants of concern, and this is anticipated to continue as these variants take over from earlier virus strains,” Henry said during a press conference.

However, “the same measures that we take make a difference in preventing that transmission, and we have the measures in place that we know will work,” she added.

Reflecting on the rise in case counts, particularly among those in younger age cohorts, Henry said there has been some complacency, with people believing “they could get through it and [that] it doesn’t really affect young people.”

But as more cases are seen in young people, this also means a larger percentage of this demographic will end up in the hospital and the ICU, she added.

“That’s what we can prevent by taking the very simple measures that we all know by now, and that we’re sick of, but that work,” she said. “Unnecessary travel and social gatherings are fuelling the fire for variant-of-concern transmission, and we all have the ability to slow that down.”

Asked why the province seemingly wasn’t doing more to combat the rise in the number of COVID-19 variant cases – similar to what Ontario is doing – Henry said officials are treating all cases in BC “as if they’re variants.”

This includes aggressive case management, contact tracing, extra testing, and providing support for people to isolate.

“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing is the number of contacts people have been having in their social networks has been expanding in the last little while,” she said. “We need to work together on this and pull it back down.”

Henry announced 1,068 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 105,988.

Broken down by specific health region, she said this equates to 352 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 492 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 73 in the Island Health region, 106 in the Interior Health region, 43 in the Northern Health region, and two new cases in people who normally reside outside of Canada.

There are 8,671 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 14,118 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Currently, 328 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 96 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been three new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,489 deaths in BC.

There have been 207 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 3,766 cases. Of the total cases, 266 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,838 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 877 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

To date, 95,691 people who tested positive have recovered, and 912,056 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in BC, 87,474 of which are second doses.

The number of recorded cases in BC is the second-highest recorded in the province, after BC set a new one-day record last week, with 1,072 cases recorded between Thursday and Friday.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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