Next two weeks 'critical' in pandemic fight, says Dr. Henry

Next two weeks 'critical'

After announcing 17 new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry urged B.C. to follow public health orders and avoid looking for loopholes and workarounds.

“Over the next two weeks, we need to urgently reduce the level of transmission in our province to keep our schools and workplaces open and relieve the very real stress we are seeing right now on our healthcare system,” Dr. Henry said. 

She said social gatherings and events are necessary sacrifices residents must make to protect those parts of the economy. 

“I’m asking you to put the safety measures at the top of your list every day, rather than thinking about where the gaps are,” she said, explaining they have learned over the past two weeks how much easier the virus can spread during the winter months while people are indoors. 

“This next two weeks is critical for us across the province.”

Dr. Henry clarified orders announced last week and reiterated that all events, indoor and out, have been suspended until at least Dec. 7. That includes events at hotels, restaurants and theatres. 

As the Dec. 7 (and the holidays) nears, Dr. Henry said the province will provide updates if the orders will be allowed to expire or be extended. 

She compared the coronavirus pandemic not to a marathon, but to an Ironman triathlon. 

“We got through the swim, barely, this spring and we learned quite a bit. And now, we are on the bike ride, and this bike ride has some big hills to climb and we don’t know exactly when this part of the race will end and we move into the next phase,” she said.

On Monday the province announced 1,933 new coronavirus cases over the past three days, 104 of which were in the Interior Health region. The majority of the 17 deaths announced came in long-term seniors care.

Province-wide, there are 277 people in hospital with the virus, 59 of whom are in ICU. In the Interior Health region, just three people are in hospital.

More information on BC’s COVID-19 health orders can be found here.

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