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B.C. modelling shows 3,000 COVID-19 cases per day possible, not inevitable: Henry

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 12:46 am PDT


Modelling projects the potential for nearly 3,000 infections per day if we continue on the current trajectory

Dr. Bonnie Henry says if contacts are reduced, the curve can be bent back down

More than half of all COVID-19 cases in B.C. are variants of concern

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are the highest they’ve ever been, and the latest modelling from the province shows that if British Columbians don’t abide by public health orders things could get significantly worse in a short amount of time.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix presented the data Thursday projecting the potential for nearly 3,000 infections per day if we continue on the current trajectory.

But Henry stresses this is not inevitable.

“Models give us a sense of what are the parameters that are most important going forward, it’s not a prediction. It’s not prediction that we’re going to have 3,000 cases next week,” she says.

Currently, Henry says the province is at about 60 per cent of pre-pandemic activity. In order to bend the curve back down, we need to get to 40 per cent.

“We need to get down to 40 per cent or less and we have done that consistently. We were able to do that last March. We did that in November when we put in restrictions again,” she said.

No new restrictions were announced Thursday with Henry instead stressing the importance of adhering to those already in place.

“It’s likely that without you or them knowing it, somebody in your community in your connections has COVID may not be aware of it, and is potentially infectious. The more people you see, the higher that likelihood would be. Right now, we have a lot of transmission in communities across the province,” she said.

She repeated her plea for people to avoid travel, to only socialize with those in their immediate households, and to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

“We need to make sure that we’re all taking those actions to keep ourselves and our families and our communities safe,” she said.

“Even if we can see people outside our household, we shouldn’t right now. And if we do, it must be the same small group of people. We know that outside is lower risk — it’s not zero — it is lower risk. So have that small group of people that you meet with that you need to support you. Meet them outside, keep your distance. If you’re going to be in close contact, wear masks, even if it’s outside. If each of us has less contact with people around us, we will all see that benefit.”

The prevalence of more transmissable variants is a mother troubling trend. More than 60 per cent of BC’s cases are now variants – half of those are the most transmissible P1 variant — and almost all the P1 cases are in Metro Vancouver.

“The variants are more transmissible, but the things that stop transmission are the same,” Henry said.

“There’s no margin for error right now.”