VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is growing optimism from Canadians that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is now behind us, with a positive outlook from both the public and our top health officials.
B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, Dr. Réka Gustafson, is hopeful the province will soon shift from treating COVID-19 as a pandemic to a more routine response.
“From a public health perspective, as long as we continue on this trajectory, we will be aiming to shift our approach from pandemic emergency response to sustainable public health management,” she said at Monday’s provincial update. “This approach is similar to how we prevent and control other communicable diseases.”
Gustafson said public health teams in B.C. normally manage communicable diseases so well that we rarely hear about them, and she is optimistic COVID-19 will soon be in that group.
With a continued drop in daily case counts and hospitalizations, along with a growing number of vaccinations, British Columbia is on track to implement Steps 2 and 3 of the province’s “restart” plan as early as June 15 and July 1, further easing public restrictions.
The latest poll from Leger finds almost two thirds (61%) of Canadians believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the highest result by far in the company’s continued surveys of attitudes toward COVID-19.
It also finds, for the first time since March of 2020, more Canadians are not afraid (51%) than afraid (45%) of contracting the coronavirus.
In B.C., there were 217 cases diagnosed on Saturday, 131 on Sunday, and 133 on Monday, with 199 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, down from 224 on Friday and 511 at the height of the pandemic.
Of those in the hospital, 63 patients are in the ICU, up from 59 on Friday and down from a high of 183. Meanwhile, there were 12 more deaths over the weekend: nine on Friday, one on Saturday, and two on Sunday.
Gustafson says 74 per cent of adults in B.C. and 72 per cent of British Columbians aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.