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B.C.'s second wave of COVID-19 is underway but under control, says top doctor

Last Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 6:34 am PST

FILE -- Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

The second wave has officially begun in B.C., the province's top doctor confirmed Monday

Dr. Bonnie Henry says despite B.C.'s second wave of COVID-19 beginning, we can all dictate how bad it will be

B.C. provincial health officer appealing to British Columbians to make more personal sacrifices amid second COVID wave

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we were in the beginning, B.C. is the envy of many Canadians who remain under strict rules in other provinces, despite the second wave of COVID-19 officially being confirmed here.

“One could say” we have entered the phase of the virus that for so long seemed distant, like winter. But both are on the doorstep, and what comes next is up to us, says Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

We knew the second wave of COVID-19 would likely come in the fall and that it would likely be worse than the first wave, as the 1918 flu was during its second wave.

However, there’s still a lot to learn about the coronavirus, including why some people are more contagious than others, Henry said.

“This virus has not gone away. And it has shown us that it is now quite able to hide and spread in our communities around the province,” she said on Monday.

Appealing for more personal sacrifice in the form of physical distance and cancelled parties, Henry pleaded with British Columbians to each do their part.

“Some of it is spread within large family groups. Also, there’s a large number of poultry producing plants, fruit producing plants, congregate living settings for farm workers,” she said at her COVID-19 update.

Henry said there are fewer super spreaders, and went so far as to say she believes B.C. is better off than most parts of Canada.

“We were seeing quite a lot more large spreader events when we had nightclubs open, when there were large parties through the summer. But mostly those have settled down or become much smaller, and more easy for us to contain,” she explained.

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Nightclubs and banquet halls were ordered closed in early September amid rising COVID-19 in B.C. As part of restrictions announced last month, bars are now also not able to sell liquor past 10 p.m.

Henry said so far, case numbers are increasing slowly and steadily, noting the importance of keeping our distance, including from loved ones.

She added the sacrifices we make now are about keeping our healthcare system running smoothly, preventing deaths in long-term care, keeping kids in school, and helping businesses hopefully keep their doors open.

-With files from Marcella Bernardo