VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — It’s not an order, but B.C.’s top doctor is asking everyone to cut back on how many team sports they play as long as COVID-19 remains a threat.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry admitted Tuesday she’s worried about the return of recreational hockey, soccer, and other activities drawing crowds, after reporting almost 550 new COVID-19 cases over the previous four days and five more deaths.
“It’s just a caution. We’ve seen some transmission, particularly spectators whose children are playing, whether that’s indoors or in an arena or at a sports field,” she said.
“This is a time to focus on letting them play safely and making sure we keep our distance.”
Henry added the overall rate of positive COVID-19 tests remains low, though, even as more are being conducted.
“We continue to be under two per cent. Over the past weekend, it was 1.39 per cent across British Columbia,” Henry said.
With almost 9,000 people now listed as recovered, the overall rate improves to close to 84 per cent.
As for how long it takes for someone to no longer be contagious after contracting COVID-19, Henry responded about 10 days. She did not have an answer when asked about immunity from the coronavirus.
“There are many different things that we still don’t know about immunity yet, so we don’t know if you have to have a certain level of antibodies to have longer-lasting protections, but those are all things under active study right now,” Henry added.
Re: confusion about how long you can still be contagious after testing positive, Henry says most people are clear after 10 days.
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“It’s different for some people. If your immune system is not working very well because you are on cancer treatments or taking certain medications, you may actually take a longer time to clear the virus and you can shed it for a longer period of time.”
To date, 250 people in B.C. have died from COVID-19.
Henry said it’s important for people to think about their cumulative interactions.
“The more time we spend with others in one area means we have to be careful about spending less time in another area.”
She added athletes should pick one team and one league to participate in, not multiple.
“If your children are involved in activities after school, pare them down so that they’re not exposed to large numbers of different groups of people on different days.”