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

Burns Lake local Wren Gilgan, captured this Bear family after their winter snooze in the woods near the community. (Wren Gilgan photo/Lakes District News)
Bear-attractant management, a province-wide priority

Black bears awake from winter slumber

LDSS students working on creating bike racks during the metals class. (Blaine Hastings photo/Lakes District News)
LDSS students building bike racks

The Lakes District Secondary School’s (LDSS) metal class taught by Blaine Hastings… Continue reading

Vaccine. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Register on Get Vaccinated site for second dose

Health officials urging everyone, including those with first dose to register

Boil water advisory. (File photo)
Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s long-term boil water advisory lifted

The province has no long-term water advisories in place

The Lakes District Fall fair has been cancelled second time in a row. (Lakes District News file photo)
Here’s why the Lakes District Fall Fair was cancelled

The association hoping to hold the fair in 2022

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Most Read