British Columbia on Track for Stage 2 of Reopening Next Week – –

British Columbia on Track for Stage 2 of Reopening Next Week – –

Modeling shows cases could drop to near zero by fall with the right sanitation measures and continued vaccination

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British Columbia could be at a manageable level of COVID-19 cases by fall, even if the province reopens – if the vaccination rate remains high and people-to-people contact, while increasing, remains below pre-pandemic levels.

According to provincial modeling data presented Thursday, a return to 70% of pre-pandemic people-to-people contact and a high vaccination rate would mean close to zero daily cases of COVID by the beginning of September.

Even with an 80% contact rate, cases can be kept at manageable levels, thanks to the level of protection offered by vaccines and ongoing public health measures, the BC provincial health official said. .

“Even with an increase in the contact rate of up to 80% over the next few weeks, we are more likely to see more cases happen, but they will not be transmitted in our communities as we have seen before,” a said Dr. said Bonnie Henry.

For the first time in months, the province’s COVID-19 reproduction rate is below one, meaning every sick person transmits the virus to less than one other person – a change from modeling April which showed that this rate was increasing.

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The numbers put the province in a good position to continue its plan to reopen, which is expected to enter Stage 2 on Tuesday.

“The data we have supports that we can go there,” Henry said. “I am convinced that we can take this step as long as we increase our contacts in a slow and measured way”, and more people are getting vaccinated.

The number of new cases reflected the downward trend, with 153 cases reported on Thursday, bringing the number of active cases to 1,910.

Among these, 176 people are hospitalized, including 49 in intensive care. Four other people died: one in their fifties, another in their sixties and two in their 80s.

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Cases of COVID are more common in some areas than others.

Grand Forks is the hotspot for the province, with 16 new cases per day per 100,000 people, according to figures from June 1-7. In the Lower Mainland, Abbotsford has about 10 cases per 100,000, followed by parts of Vancouver and Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, with about six cases per 100,000.

Surrey had the most cases over the same period, with around 220, followed by central Okanagan, with 120, and Abbotsford, with 110.

Even as cases increased in Wave 3, deaths remained low, which Henry attributed to the success of the vaccination program that initially targeted the elderly and others most at risk.

Every health zone in British Columbia has achieved at least 50 percent immunization. Places with lower absorption include Fort Nelson and Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, Cariboo, Burns Lake and Quesnel, and Richmond, UBC and Mission in the Lower Mainland.

But those numbers have started to change in some areas, health officials said, thanks to the work of community and religious leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated.

“Richmond is now above the standard in terms of registration,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix, noting that the situation is similar at UBC.

Dix said clinics administer vaccines as soon as they arrive in British Columbia and that health officials are exploring several strategies to improve access and get more people vaccinated, including sending mobile units to the interior and the northern British Columbia to get vaccines where people are.

In British Columbia, more than 3.8 million doses have been distributed, 12% of which are second doses. Almost 75 percent of all adults in British Columbia received their first injection, and almost 73 percent of those aged 12 and over.

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