While BC has “plateaued” at around 500 new cases of COVID-19 a day over the past couple of weeks, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that now is not the time for people to let down their guard.
Speaking at an afternoon press conference, Henry said the province is currently at the “threshold” of where it was in November, prior to the increase in case numbers just before the Christmas season.
“We need – and know how – to stop this,” she said.
Henry stressed that for British Columbians, it comes down to two choices:
The first, she said, is to let cases continue to increase, resulting in more people falling ill, more strain on the healthcare system, “and more restrictions needed to slow things down in our community.”
Or, she continued, people can pay attention to what needs to be done, continuing to follow protocols, guidelines, restrictions, and regulations until case numbers decline, and the curve starts to bend back down.
“Less is where we need to go, and I need your help to get there,” she said. “Easing the public health restrictions in our province relies on what we do now.”
Henry’s comments come amid a province-wide ban on gatherings and events which is currently in effect until February 5.
The orders, which include a ban on indoor and outdoor private gatherings, community events, travel, and variants of adult sports, first came into effect last November.
Now, said Henry, “we need everyone…. to take a step back. To stay home and stay away from others, and perhaps do more than what you have done before to slow the spread.”
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On Monday, Henry announced there were 1,344 new test-positive COVID-19 cases in BC since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 64,828.