COVID-19: British Columbia should follow the lead of the best performing jurisdictions to control the virus


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Without that clear goal, British Columbia has added restrictions as cases rise, to open too quickly when cases tend to drop, Longhurst said.

British Columbia recorded more than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, as well as 35 deaths, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health official. There are over 9,000 active cases and over 10,000 people in isolation due to possible exposure.

The death toll in the province stands at 527.

Taiwan added two cases on Monday, according to Worldometer. New Zealand added six cases and Australia added 15.

Each of these countries has the advantage of geographic isolation, while British Columbia has a common border with the United States and an uncontrolled border with Alberta.

“We can’t duplicate exactly what other jurisdictions are doing, but these countries have been working towards a Zero COVID approach, while our approach has been mitigation,” Longhurst said.

What they also have in common is a clear political goal around aggressive removal of the virus, and everything from lockdowns to travel restrictions flows from that.

Melbourne, Australia implemented a 110-day lockdown, which effectively brought transmission down to zero.

“The point of a lockdown is you do it right, and you do it once, and you don’t repeat it over and over,” Longhurst said. “My big concern, which others share, is that we’re going to continue to saw back and forth in what are essentially modified lockdowns without ever really taking control of the virus.”


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