Dr. Bonnie Henry Urges To Stay The Course As B.C. Extends Restrictions

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“To be continued” seems to be an ongoing trend.

The previous B.C. restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been extended, Dr. Henry announced on the morning of Friday, February 5.

The restrictions, which prohibit gatherings between people who don’t live in the same household, with minor exceptions for those who live alone, were set to expire today. With the curve seeing a plateau Dr. Henry says we must maintain these restrictions.

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There is a possibility to alleviate restrictions by the end of this month if we stay the course, including opening youth sports and going back to the “safe six”. That said, there is currently no official end date for the restriction extension.

The Curve is Seeing A Plateau But Needs To Decrease

During a press conference, Dr. Henry presented the curve is starting to plateau. She also presented that B.C. is seeing low rates of transmission in the younger age groups, however the 20-29 age group have the highest rates. She also confirmed that we are seeing a decrease in transmission of those aged 80 and above. Positivity rates appear to be highest amongst those aged 19-49, and low in school aged children.

“We are starting to see a levelling off and hopefully a decrease,” Dr. Henry said. “We are on a good trajectory, but it could change very quickly,” she added mentioning the fast spread in other countries.

Dr. Henry did mention that the variant spread can be contained if we maintain our close contacts. She also said that they are testing genomes to detect the variant and watching it closely. So far the variants seem to be contained, as the majority of the 28 cases of the variant found in B.C. so far have all been linked to travel, with the exception of 5 cases.

“We cannot squander our success,” Dr. Henry says. “We need to buy time to see how the variant of concern can affect our community and we need to buy time to get our immunization program back up.”

The History of B.C. Restrictions in the Second Wave

The restrictions on gatherings were first introduced in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions on November 7 for a two-week period. On November 19, they were extended for another two weeks and applied across province-wide.

Then on December 7, Dr. Henry announced that the orders would remain over the entire holiday season and last until at least January 8. That order was further extended to February 5.

The first set of B.C. restrictions at the start of the pandemic began March 23, 2020, which will mark one year of living with this pandemic.

 

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