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

Armstrong Regional Co-op board members Brett Kirkpatrick (left) and Robbie Hoyte (right) flank Scott John of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society. The co-op donated $2,500 to the society for its Save the Towne Theatre campaign. (ARC photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap cooperative contributes to Vernon theatre campaign

Armstrong Regional Co-op kicks in $2,500 for Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Save the Towne Theatre campaign

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue at Sicamous beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

A young Sicamous Canada Day parade-goer is awed by a colourful float filled with beloved Disney characters during the July 1, 2020 community event. (File photo)
Editorial: Now is the time for Sicamous to shine

Shuswap community might be just what people who work from home are looking for

Greyhound Canada announced May 13 it was closing operations permanently after more than a century of operation. (Black Press file photo)
COLUMN: Goodbye to a never forgotten friend

Greyhound bus trips played a big role in columnist’s life

Someone or something is vandalizing birdhouses built and erected along Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail, much to the chagrin of a Shuswap biologist who looks after the houses. All but one of 32 along the trail are occupied. (Facebook photo)
Ongoing birdhouse vandalism rocks Shuswap trail, groups

Eight more boxes were destroyed Saturday, May 15

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

Brandon Messier of Messier’s Concrete and Landscaping has added some unique, glowing features to his front yard at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in the Okanagan

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Okanagan fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the Coldstream firehall on Aberdeen Road

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Search continues for diver who went missing in Okanagan Lake

Emergency crews continue to search for the 52-year-old who didn’t resurface Saturday

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

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

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’

Most Read