BEFORE CHRIST. government believes personal interactions can potentially double without a resurgence of COVID-19


BEFORE CHRIST. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is starting to reach a point where regular interactions between people may eventually double from its current level, while still containing the COVID-19 virus.

“It is, I believe, the end of the beginning of this pandemic,” she said.

“We have room to increase our social ties … but as we enter this new phase, we must keep these principles in mind. “

Henry confirmed that the province continues to work assuming that British Columbia. currently accounts for around 30% of regular interactions, but the virus can be controlled if it stays below 60% in the future.

“We could have increased the number of cases and some hospitalizations … but they would be manageable. We would be able to handle this, and there are things we can do to make these contacts safer for people, ”she said.

“Our challenge, and our work together, is to find this ideal point. Somewhere around increasing our contacts by twice the number we have now, but without allowing these opportunities for exponential rapid growth in our communities. “

The announcement came the same day the government announced that there were 53 new cases of COVID-19 in the province in the past two days, bringing the cumulative total to 2,224.

There are 77 people hospitalized and 1,417 in total have recovered. Three new deaths have been announced, bringing the total number to 117 since the start of the epidemic.

Excessive Death Survey

In addition, the province said there have been about 170 more deaths than the average in British Columbia since March, although only 111 have been attributed to COVID-19.

Henry said health officials were working to determine to what extent this number of “excessive deaths” in 60 cases could be attributed to the virus.

The province estimates that keeping interactions below 60% of the “normal” value in the future will prevent hospitalizations related to COVID-19. (British Columbia Ministry of Health)

Physical distance is more important than masks

BEFORE CHRIST. Premier John Horgan is expected to announce his strategy to gradually “reopen” the province on Wednesday, a fact Henry alluded to in his presentation.

The B.C. Government says physical distance will continue to be far more important than the use of personal protective equipment as the province moves to the next stage of its response to COVID-19.

Ministry of Health officials highlighted this aspect in a presentation showing the province’s strategy, placing it at the top of a “hierarchy of controls … to reduce the risk of transmission” list.

Personal protective equipment was below the physical distance, as well as technical and administrative controls such as pexiglass windows in stores or people working from home.

However, the presentation said that people should consider “using non-medical masks in situations where the physical distance cannot be maintained”, such as when transporting or shopping.

A slide presented by the B.C. government showing the hierarchy to reduce the risk of future transmission of COVID-19. (British Columbia Ministry of Health)

What activities will come back?

As for specific activities people in British Columbia could do with a doubling of interactions, Henry pointed out that much would depend on individual discretion, with people avoiding large gatherings as much as possible.

“The more we interact with people, the greater the possibility that someone … can pass it on to us,” she said.

Henry mentioned a few activities generally involving large groups – including Little League Baseball and breweries – that may return soon, but said they would only do so with new directives in place.

“It is in our hands,” said Henry, “as long as we do not forget to wash it. “

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