BC’s health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it is still possible to bend the curve of infection back down.
BC at ‘precipice,’ must take actions to keep curve low moving forward
Published 4:22 PDT, Thu September 3, 2020
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said while there have been more cases of COVID-19 in BC recently, it is still possible to bend the curve back down.
Individuals’ contact rates are somewhere around 65 per cent of normal right now.
“We’re at that limit, we’re at that precipice where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low,” said Henry. “Our well-being as a community, as a province, is about getting back to work, getting back into classrooms, keeping businesses going and staying healthy. It’s not an either/or situation.”
The median age of new cases has decreased to 41, Henry added. That reflects the fact that many new cases are in younger people. Although hospitalizations in BC have gone up slightly, the rate still remains low, she said.
Geographic data shows that there were active cases in regions that have not had cases before, or have not for some time. Henry says this shows that the virus is still active and circulating, and it is important to continue following preventative measures.
The median age of deaths in BC remains high. As the number of new cases has increased, so has the number of tests being conducted.
“Even though we have higher numbers of cases, we are finding and testing more people than we were in March who have this illness, so we don’t believe that the number of people who are out there with COVID-19 that aren’t detected is as high as it was when our testing was limited,” said Henry.
Data related to exposure location shows that young children and older people are most often exposed within their own household. Young adults are linked to clusters of cases at bars and restaurants, as well as private parties and events. Many cases continue to be linked to known exposure events.
Community transmission data shows the number of cases in each health authority, as well as incidence rates per 100,000 population. Rates in the Fraser Health region (15.7 per 100,000) and Vancouver Coastal Health region (18.6 per 100,000) are higher than in other parts of the province. Henry said other parts of the world are using a measure of 25 cases per 100,000 people as a threshold for reopening places like schools and businesses.
Henry also announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing BC’s total to 6,041. One of the new cases was epidemiologically linked. There are 1,175 active cases today, an increase of almost 50 from yesterday. In addition, 2,801 people are currently under active public health follow-up as a result of being a contact of a known case.
There was one new death in longterm care, bringing that total to 210. There are 34 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 11 of whom are in critical care.
There were two new healthcare outbreaks announced today, one at Cherington Place in the Fraser Health region and one at Point Grey Private Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. In both cases, only one positive case is linked to the outbreak. The outbreak at Maple Ridge Seniors Village outbreak has been declared over and 11 active outbreaks remain in the healthcare system.
There have been no new community outbreaks, but ongoing exposure events continue to result in transmission.
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