(file photo)

(file photo)

EDITORIAL: Pandemic impact goes beyond numbers

Some jurisdictions, including British Columbia, have changed their testing policies

The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has been declining over the past week, and the number of new cases in other parts of the world is also showing a decline.

While this may show a peak in the Omicron variant of this pandemic, declining case numbers should not be seen as a definitive sign that the worst of the pandemic has passed.

Since the pandemic began, several waves of infections have been observed. The Omicron variant is the fifth wave and has resulted in the highest number of new cases per day. This variant is significantly more contagious than previous COVID-19 variants.

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At the same time, some jurisdictions, including British Columbia, have changed their testing policies. This means some who have COVID-19 but have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic might not be listed in the province’s confirmed cases.

In short, while the number of new daily case numbers tells part of the story, it does not give a complete account of what is happening with this pandemic.

Looking at the hospitalization numbers and deaths will show that the COVID-19 pandemic is still present and continues to take a toll in our communities and around the world. Outbreaks are still being reported at a number of long-term and acute care facilities around the province. As of Jan. 11, 469 people were in hospital, with 97 in critical care.

More than 286,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in British Columbia, including more than 2,400 deaths. These numbers are continuing to rise. Many if not all British Columbians know someone who has been touched by this pandemic, directly or indirectly.

The vast majority of British Columbians have been fully vaccinated, and nearly one in three have received their third dose of this vaccine. These measures have helped to reduce the severity of this ongoing pandemic in this province. But vaccination measures alone do not eliminate the risk of contracting COVID-19, nor do vaccinations mean the end to further variants of this ongoing pandemic.

Precautions and common sense are important in the continuing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let’s do our part to make the fifth wave the final wave.

– Black Press

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