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B.C. set to unveil new COVID modelling as Canadians warned worst is yet to come

Last Updated Dec 23, 2020 at 6:28 am PST

FILE - Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

B.C. is expected to unveil its latest COVID-19 modelling on Wednesday

As Canadians head into holidays, they're being reminded to not let their guard down with COVID-19 continuing to spread

B.C. reported 444 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province is expected to update detailed modelling of British Columbia’s COVID situation, today.

The 444 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday marked the lowest daily total in this province since Nov. 6. With that, some people might be tempted into a false sense of security. However, officials are warning this is likely the most dangerous phase of the pandemic so far.

To start, it’s Christmas, meaning some people are going to get together no matter what the rules say. And on top of that, people are tired of restrictions and tired of being alone, according to Canada Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam.

“Intention to follow public health measures is impacted by that and our health work force is exhausted. So, all these combinations just mean it’s going to be much more difficult to manage in the next few months,” she said.

“Plan safer holidays, stay home if you have any symptoms, and practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask.”

Related article: New COVID-19 strain not found in Canada, says top doctor

While the arrival of a vaccine has offered hope, Tam said health-care workers need our support now more than ever.

“And in this time of giving, let’s all commit continued efforts as a show of collective appreciation and gratitude,” she urged.

Tam believes as long as it’s winter things will remain challenging and is placing a special emphasis about concerns of increasing COVID-29 impacts in rural and Indigenous communities.

The last modelling update provided on Nov. 12 showed the primary driver of COVID-19 transmission in B.C. was gatherings in households and the community.

On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province’s curve was starting to level again. However, she noted it was happening at a high level and that the virus continues to spread in all health regions.

“We continue to see hundreds of new people each day with confirmed cases, and they expose others,” Henry said. “Restrictions that we’ve had in place the number of people who’ve had close contact has decreased, but it is still a substantial number.”

The new data comes as B.C. continues its vaccine rollout program province-wide. Henry received her first dose of the Pfizer drug on Monday.

-With files from Kathryn Tindale