Prepare to be in some form of COVID-19 lockdown for months, not weeks - InfoNews

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Prepare to be in some form of COVID-19 lockdown for months, not weeks

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with Health Minister Adrian Dix in the background, Monday, March 23, 2020.
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March 31, 2020 - 4:41 PM

For the first time, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has referred to the COVID-19 prevention orders around self-isolation and social distancing as a lockdown, and she indicated they will stay in place for months.

“I haven’t given up entirely the hope that we might get a reprieve during the summer, as we do with influenza and some of the other respiratory viruses, although how much of a reprieve has yet to be seen,” Henry said during her daily update today, March 31.

She also worries about what course the novel coronavirus will take in the fall.

“Realistically, and I’ve said this before, we are going to be in some form of having to monitor and prevent transmission of this virus until we have a vaccine or enough of the population is immune to it so that it’s not infecting people,” Henry said. “But we know that is a very high number so a vaccine is something we need to really, really push for.”

B.C. is likely in its first wave of the pandemic, she said, and infection is expected to come in waves. The current wave is likely to last into May.

“I don’t think we need to be this locked down, if you will, for many, many months,” she said.

“As we said, the next weeks are really, really critical. Then we need to think about how to (ease restrictions) in a thoughtful way that allows us to get back into some of the critical things we need in our lives.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix fully supported her assessment, noting there’s zero chance of restrictions being eased by the end of April and it is iffy they will be eased in May or June.

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