Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Aug. 24, 2020. (B.C. government)

EDITORIAL: Continuing caution to control COVID-19

New cases of pandemic continue to increase in British Columbia

An increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases, here in British Columbia and around the world, is cause for concern.

In British Columbia, the number of new cases has been increasing since July, and despite repeated messages from the provincial government, a significant decline has not yet been seen.

Since March, measures have been put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include physical distancing requirements and limits to the number of people in a gathering or at an event. In addition, people have been urged to wear face masks when in public and to wash their hands frequently.

READ ALSO: 1,100 active COVID-19 cases in B.C. following continued surge over weekend

READ ALSO: Kelowna’s Canada Day ‘COVID-19 cluster’ declared over

These efforts can make a difference in slowing the spread of the pandemic.

At present, there is no cure for COVID-19 and while researchers are working on a vaccine, one is not yet ready for the public.

Worldwide, more than 25 million people have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 850,000 have died.

Canada has had close to 130,000 cases, and more than 9,000 deaths.

In addition, some who have recovered from COVID-19 have had ongoing health problems as a result.

Put simply, COVID-19 can have severe consequences.

This weekend, as Canadians celebrate the last long weekend of the summer, it is important to continue to exercise caution.

An outbreak now, just before the start of the school year, could have devastating results for our communities and for our families.

A second wave or a significant increase in the total number of COVID-19 cases could result in lockdowns or other harsh measures in an effort to bring the pandemic under control once again.

It is far easier to work within the existing parameters and to follow the protocols and directives which have been set out by the province.

This long weekend is a time to relax and unwind, but the celebrations must still be kept safe.

— Black Press

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