Report card on B.C. social-distancing is coming next week - InfoNews

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Report card on B.C. social-distancing is coming next week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
March 26, 2020 - 6:30 PM

Numbers are the focus of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s opening comments during her daily COVID-19 updates.

As B.C.’s provincial health officer, she always starts with the number of new cases (66 today), the number of total cases (725) then breaks them down further. But the number of cases reported are roughly two weeks behind the spread of the virus so we won't know until next week if British Columbians did enough early on to reduce the spread and flatten the curve.

She has often been pressed by the media on whether she’s optimistic by the fact the curve of new cases is not shooting up dramatically.

“I don’t dare hope, at this point,” she said today, March 26. “We’re still very much in the first incubation period from when we started putting in these restrictive measures so there are people out there who are incubating this disease. We know there’s been transmission so we’re not going to see a dramatic change for another five to six days and then, maybe — if we continue this way — (be hopeful).”

But, she warned, there are many things that can happen, such as an outbreak in a hospital or in a community.

“There are so many scenarios right now that we take it day by day,” she said.

Tomorrow morning she’s going to outline some of those scenarios, including worst cases.

During yesterday’s briefing she said she did have estimates on how many people have the disease but have not been tested. Those numbers are expected to be given out tomorrow.

B.C.’s first COVID-19 case was identified in January. The number of cases increased very slowly, reaching 73 by March 14.

After that, there have been double-digit increases every day, spiking at 83 new cases reported on March 17.

Since then, the number of new cases has averaged about 60 a day.

The Interior Health region numbers weren’t broken out until March 17 when there were seven cases. The Interior has averaged about six a day since then, although 16 new cases were announced today.

The effectiveness of B.C.’s rules on social distancing and cleanliness should become clearer by mid-week.

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