British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday delayed his plans to lift COVID-19 lockdown restrictions due to the Delta variant.
BC health officials are closely monitoring the COVID Delta variant
Evidence from the UK suggests that the variant spreads much more easily than others that have appeared in Canada so far.
British Columbia provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry said Monday that the Delta variant is “clearly of concern.”
Dr Bonnie Henry says COVID Delta variant is ‘obviously a concern’
“We are coming back, as we always have, to make sure we have strong resources to follow up on every case of someone affected by COVID-19,” she said.
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Last week, Henry said more than 80% of COVID cases in British Columbia are considered variants. But the province is also doing genome sequencing of all cases found in British Columbia, and it is able to do so quickly.
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This means officials know exactly which strains are circulating and in which community, Henry said.
“As the number of cases decreases, it makes it a lot easier to do,” she added.
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British Columbia has seen a few cases of the Delta variant, including in a long-term care home and in a few communities, but Henry said the big difference between the UK and BC is that teenagers , 20 and 30 year olds in UK don’t get vaccinated, whereas in BC we have a lot of vaccines in these age groups.
“We are not seeing continued transmission and take-off of this strain compared to any other strain right now,” Henry added.
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Exposure to the Delta variant is still a bit unclear, Henry said, but they saw in British Columbia that vaccines prevent all strains of the virus.
“It’s extremely important to get that second dose as soon as your eight weeks are there,” she said.
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