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Infectious disease expert sounding alarm over surge of COVID cases in B.C.

Last Updated Mar 27, 2021 at 9:49 am PDT

A woman wearing a fabric mask on her face walks in downtown Vancouver, on Thursday, April 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Dr. Brian Conway with the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre is alarmed that Friday's new case numbers

He's advocating for more testing to quickly identify outbreaks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Friday’s new COVID case numbers were one of the highest since the pandemic started in B.C. A doctor with the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre says the jump in cases is enough for people to rethink their actions and what they can do to help stop the spread of the virus.

Friday saw 908 new cases, nearly half of which were recorded in the Fraser Health region. Fifteen per cent of the new cases were variants of concern.

RELATED: B.C. records 908 new COVID-19 cases

Dr. Brian Conway says these numbers are of grave concern and he believes infections are on the rise because people are tired of following the rules and restrictions.

“We need to intervene, we need to do something different,” he says.

“Ironically, I think that easing restrictions in a selective manner, may be helpful to us. We know a lot more now than we did a year ago. We know what behaviours are completely safe. And by using this as an opportunity to pull back on some of the restrictions in a safe way, we may offer individuals more options of things that are safe, that they’re allowed to do, and this may help us enforce in a better way — higher compliance — the regulations that prevent us from doing the things that are particularly dangerous to transmit the virus.”

Conway says the recent increase in cases is caused by people who are tired and letting their guard down when it comes to prevention. And with variants circulating, he says their behaviour becomes “that much more risky.”

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Conway adds he hopes the new vaccines arriving next week will be used in infection hotspots.