B.C.’s restrictions on personal contact need to continue with the goal of following South Korea (red bars) where COVID-19 infections levelled off quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C.’s restrictions on gatherings, travel, schools and restaurants are showing results as the province plans for its coronavirus hospital needs for the critical next two weeks, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Henry released the B.C. government’s modelling March 27, showing B.C.’s rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has slowed slightly compared to the rest of Canada, and is tracking within B.C. hospital capacity for expected severe cases.

Nearly 4,000 hospital beds have been cleared for increased severe cases in the weeks ahead, including intensive care beds with ventilators.

B.C.’s schools went onto spring break on March 14, and closing bars and other restrictions also took effect as B.C. started to see community transmission cases rather than just overseas travellers. By March 16 most people understood the need and changed their behaviour, Henry said.

“Our rate of growth is being impacted in a positive way by the measures we have adopted in the last few weeks, which is good news,” Henry said at a briefing in Victoria. “We are not out of the woods by any means yet. We will still need to track this carefully and still need to continue these measures that we’re taking.”

Henry emphasized that the B.C. Centre for Disease Control modelling is not a prediction, it is a set of scenarios done for planning purposes, and it will continue.

“We’re a little bit ahead of the rest of Canada,” Henry said. South Korea’s success in flattening the infection curve is B.C.’s goal.

RELATED: Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses

RELATED: U.S. moves to highest number of COVID-19 cases in world

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control continues to track cases and compare them to international rates including Italy, Spain and Hubei province in China, where the novel coronavirus originated late in 2019.

B.C. health authorities have identified 17 “primary COVID” hospital care sites, and is planning to use all hospital sites as needed to meet demand. Total ventilator-capable beds currently are at 705, including beds and equipment usually used for surgical patients. (See here for the BCCDC presentation on its modelling of virus spread.)

Excluding maternity, pediatrics, mental health, rehab and palliative care beds, B.C.’s bed capacity is 1,447 in Fraser Health, 1,007 for Interior Health, 1,424 for Island Health, 412 for Northern Health and 1,320 for Vancouver Coastal Health.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Thornhill’s future takes centre stage at June 2 public hearing

The current community plan was adopted in 1981

Class will look different at Coast Mountain College this September

The college is embracing a distributed learning model

City council considers easing food truck restriction

Food trucks limited to four hours public parking, may increase to six hours

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read