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

Parksville athlete sprints her way to the University of B.C.

Desvaux looks forward to joining T-Birds track and field team

COVID-19: Tourism Vancouver Island aims to help businesses survive

Revenue loss associated with a slow summer will be a big hit

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read