B.C.’s restrictions on personal contact need to continue with the goal of following South Korea (red bars) where COVID-19 infections levelled off quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C.’s restrictions on gatherings, travel, schools and restaurants are showing results as the province plans for its coronavirus hospital needs for the critical next two weeks, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Henry released the B.C. government’s modelling March 27, showing B.C.’s rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has slowed slightly compared to the rest of Canada, and is tracking within B.C. hospital capacity for expected severe cases.

Nearly 4,000 hospital beds have been cleared for increased severe cases in the weeks ahead, including intensive care beds with ventilators.

B.C.’s schools went onto spring break on March 14, and closing bars and other restrictions also took effect as B.C. started to see community transmission cases rather than just overseas travellers. By March 16 most people understood the need and changed their behaviour, Henry said.

“Our rate of growth is being impacted in a positive way by the measures we have adopted in the last few weeks, which is good news,” Henry said at a briefing in Victoria. “We are not out of the woods by any means yet. We will still need to track this carefully and still need to continue these measures that we’re taking.”

Henry emphasized that the B.C. Centre for Disease Control modelling is not a prediction, it is a set of scenarios done for planning purposes, and it will continue.

“We’re a little bit ahead of the rest of Canada,” Henry said. South Korea’s success in flattening the infection curve is B.C.’s goal.

RELATED: Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses

RELATED: U.S. moves to highest number of COVID-19 cases in world

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control continues to track cases and compare them to international rates including Italy, Spain and Hubei province in China, where the novel coronavirus originated late in 2019.

B.C. health authorities have identified 17 “primary COVID” hospital care sites, and is planning to use all hospital sites as needed to meet demand. Total ventilator-capable beds currently are at 705, including beds and equipment usually used for surgical patients. (See here for the BCCDC presentation on its modelling of virus spread.)

Excluding maternity, pediatrics, mental health, rehab and palliative care beds, B.C.’s bed capacity is 1,447 in Fraser Health, 1,007 for Interior Health, 1,424 for Island Health, 412 for Northern Health and 1,320 for Vancouver Coastal Health.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Over Zoom, Armstrong council seeks new meeting space

BRIEFS: Centennial Auditorium under consideration as council looks to resume open meetings

Fundraiser launched for Enderby drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Duck nests at Vernon drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

North and Central Okanagan on flood watch

Kalamalka Lake users are asked to take measure to reduce the risk… Continue reading

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Most Read