A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

There were 1,205 new cases and three new deaths in B.C. Thursday (April 15), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported.

Henry said that B.C.’s total case count had reached 116,075, while the death toll from COVID-19 had hit 1,524. Serious illness continues to increase with 409 people in hospital, 125 of whom are in ICU.

There are a total of 10,052 active cases in B.C. currently, with more than 16,000 people under active public health monitoring.

B.C., which had paused its frontline worker vaccination program due to issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine, will begin vaccinating all school staff, firefighters, police and child care staff. Surrey teachers have already received their first dose, while Surrey first responders are receiving it now. The next regions will be in North Delta and the Tri-Cities.

Provincial data shows that cases could top 3,000 in the coming weeks if the current level of interactions continues. If interactions level off slightly, cases could still hit 2,000 per day, while a sharper decrease could see COVID cases drop.

Currently, social interactions are at 55-60 per cent, Henry said.

“That is too high… we know what we need to do to bend that down,” she said. “We need to get down to 40 per cent or less.”

While 3,000 daily cases could become a reality, that doesn’t mean that has to be B.C.’s fate.

Henry said that despite the B.1.17 and P.1 variants spreading rapidly, British Columbians know what to do to slow the spread.

“Variants are more transmissible but the things that stop transmission are still the same,” she said.

Henry said that travel has led to transmission happening “very rapidly,” and that meeting up with anyone outside their own household was not advised.

“Even if we see people right now outside our household, we shouldn’t,” she said. Anyone meeting up with people outside of their own household, even if outdoors, should wear a mask and keep it to the same small group.

Henry said that she is not amending the current rules, which allow for 10 people to meet up outdoors, because there are no risk-free scenarios and that the focus has to be on the least dangerous options.

“The risk is not zero if you’re sitting on a patio with someone right now,” she said. Indoor dining continues to be closed in B.C. until past the May long weekend. Indoor group fitness and indoor church worship remains closed until April 19.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 1.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 87,899 of those being second doses. That translates to about 25 per cent of the population vaccinated with the first dose.

READ MORE: COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

READ MORE: Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread, B.C. data show

READ MORE: B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

FILE – Residents of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory southwest of Montreal continue to monitor a blockade leading to blocked railroad tracks that pass through their community as they protest in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on Sunday, March 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe
B.C. Supreme Court rejects Wet’suwet’en bid to toss LNG pipeline certificate

Opposition last year by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs set off Canada-wide rail blockades

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read