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B.C.'s curve turned up: What's different than before?

Dr. Bonnie Henry
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August 24, 2020 - 4:40 PM

Recent case numbers may be as high as they were when the pandemic first rolled into B.C. but a lot has also changed, Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, Aug. 24.

"We know a lot more about the virus, we know about how to find people, we know about how it's transmitted, we know that the measures that we take work," Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

When there have been outbreaks in communities or workplaces, public health has been able to quickly detect cases, monitor others affected and make sure people isolate as needed.

That stops transmission.

"We didn't know how much (COVID-19) was circulating in the community early on in March and into April," she said. "We didn't know how to best manage in places like long term care, we didn't know the settings that we were going to see transmission."

That became more clear as workplaces, care homes and parties became the grounds for pandemic spread.

The measures that are now in place in B.C., including business safety plans, mean that everyone has to think about what are they going to do to make their environment safe.

"We've done it here at the legislature, we've done it in restaurants and it's what helps us work together and how we open up our society or economy in a safe way," she said. "It mostly works."

She said that what we've also learned is that this virus is here to stay.

"We have seen around the world," she said. "Even New Zealand is not able to stay isolated from it. And we here, in B.C., are next to a country to the south where there's still a tremendous amount of transmission. So we need to continue to be on our guard."

Today, Aug. 24, British Columbia has 5,184 cases, 913 of which are active. There are also 18 people in hospital with the disease today, and five who are in critical care, Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

The current death toll is 203 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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