A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

There were 1,205 new cases and three new deaths in B.C. Thursday (April 15), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported.

Henry said that B.C.’s total case count had reached 116,075, while the death toll from COVID-19 had hit 1,524. Serious illness continues to increase with 409 people in hospital, 125 of whom are in ICU.

There are a total of 10,052 active cases in B.C. currently, with more than 16,000 people under active public health monitoring.

B.C., which had paused its frontline worker vaccination program due to issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine, will begin vaccinating all school staff, firefighters, police and child care staff. Surrey teachers have already received their first dose, while Surrey first responders are receiving it now. The next regions will be in North Delta and the Tri-Cities.

Provincial data shows that cases could top 3,000 in the coming weeks if the current level of interactions continues. If interactions level off slightly, cases could still hit 2,000 per day, while a sharper decrease could see COVID cases drop.

Currently, social interactions are at 55-60 per cent, Henry said.

“That is too high… we know what we need to do to bend that down,” she said. “We need to get down to 40 per cent or less.”

While 3,000 daily cases could become a reality, that doesn’t mean that has to be B.C.’s fate.

Henry said that despite the B.1.17 and P.1 variants spreading rapidly, British Columbians know what to do to slow the spread.

“Variants are more transmissible but the things that stop transmission are still the same,” she said.

Henry said that travel has led to transmission happening “very rapidly,” and that meeting up with anyone outside their own household was not advised.

“Even if we see people right now outside our household, we shouldn’t,” she said. Anyone meeting up with people outside of their own household, even if outdoors, should wear a mask and keep it to the same small group.

Henry said that she is not amending the current rules, which allow for 10 people to meet up outdoors, because there are no risk-free scenarios and that the focus has to be on the least dangerous options.

“The risk is not zero if you’re sitting on a patio with someone right now,” she said. Indoor dining continues to be closed in B.C. until past the May long weekend. Indoor group fitness and indoor church worship remains closed until April 19.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 1.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 87,899 of those being second doses. That translates to about 25 per cent of the population vaccinated with the first dose.

READ MORE: COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

READ MORE: Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread, B.C. data show

READ MORE: B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Langley’s Danielle Lawrie will play for Canada again. Final roster for the Olympic team was announced Wednesday, May 11. (Black Press Media file photo)
VIDEO: Langley’s Danielle Lawrie to pitch for Canada at the Olympics

Champion thanked her children for allowing ‘mommy to live out a cool dfream’

Aldergrove Community Secondary. (Undated Google maps photo)
23 Langley schools on COVID exposure list after latest alerts

Five independent schools are on Fraser Health’s exposure list

Heavily armed police officers responded to a call on 203rd Street near Fraser Highway. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Update: Police swarm Langley City dollar store after report of man with gun

Weapon turned out to be Airsoft pistol, police said

Insp. Adrian Marsden will be promoted to superintendent and taking over as officer in charge of the Langley RCMP. (RCMP/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
New top cop chosen to head up Langley RCMP

The incoming head has worked with border security and in organized crime investigation

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
Coquitlam teacher suspended after messaging students online, calling them ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read