Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry confirmed this by warning people to stay vigilant.
“We’re asking if we’re in the third wave, we really are,” said Henry. “We’ve come down from the top of our second wave, but we’ve stabilized for many weeks now and it’s a slow and steady increase.”
She said the increase in cases is largely happening in the Lower Mainland. Of the 1,785 cases reported in British Columbia over the weekend, 469 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and 1,010 were in Fraser Health. The latter region has seen the bulk of COVID cases in British Columbia.
“It’s a concern because… that’s where the highest population density is and that kind of increase can quickly get out of hand,” Henry said. “And that’s something we don’t want when we’re in this phase of the pandemic.”
British Columbia currently has just over 10% of its population vaccinated with the first dose, which is nowhere near enough for herd immunity.
Henry said the increasing cases are linked to two main places: workplaces and homes.
“We know people come together in indoor spaces,” she said, a behavior made even more dangerous by variations that are gaining ground in British Columbia. So far there have been 1,240 cases of the UKB1.1.7 variant in British Columbia.
“We know that the B.1.1.7 variant is more transferable. It is much easier to spread it with even minimal contact in indoor environments. ”
While not much has changed in the way people should protect themselves from the virus – masks, good ventilation, physical distance – there is now “even less room for error”.
Henry said she sympathizes with people who are tired after a full year of fluctuating COVID restrictions, but now is not the time to let go of their guard.
“The only safe place to come together, with our small groups, with our friends, with our family, is outside,” she said. It has been nearly two weeks since British Columbia gave the green light to the “Trusted 10s,” allowing groups of 10 family and friends to gather outside. This group should remain the same and not constantly change members.
For people hoping to have weddings and other events this spring, Henry urged people to push them into the summer.
“This is the time when we have to make these small sacrifices to continue to keep these important workplaces open, we can continue to support our children in school.