Premier John Horgan is scheduled to address the media on Wednesday afternoon after health officials reminded British Columbians to reduce their non-essential contact and limit the spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, health officials announced 407 new test-positive coronavirus cases. There were also 14 new virus-related deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,168.
And while BC’s daily case count has plateaued at around 500 new cases of COVID-19 per day, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says that now is not the time for people to let down their guard.
Earlier this week, Henry explained that the province is currently at the “threshold” of where it was in November, prior to the increase in case numbers before the holiday 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 is to let cases continue to increase, resulting in more restrictions to “slow things down in our community.”
The other would be that residents continue to follow protocols, guidelines, restrictions, and regulations until case numbers decline and the curve starts to bend back down.
Henry’s comments come amid a province-wide ban on gatherings and events, currently in effect until February 5.
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Another coming challenge for BC will be managing an extremely limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines over the coming weeks.
Over the past weekend, health officials learned that BC would not be receiving any vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna this week.
Henry added that the amount of vaccine expected throughout February has also been “dramatically reduced.”
“Right now, we do not know how much, if any, vaccine we’ll be receiving the following two weeks in February.”
As a result, health officials have temporarily changed the amount of time between when people receive the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 42 days.
Horgan’s update is scheduled to begin at 1 pm and can be streamed online. Wednesday’s written COVID-19 update can be expected later in the afternoon.
With files from Eric Zimmer.