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Socializing is the major culprit behind COVID-19’s spread throughout B.C.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
November 12, 2020 - 4:50 PM

It’s that B.C.’s reopening of businesses has triggered the province’s dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases over the past couple of weeks — it's simply because people are choosing to socialize over protecting themselves and others.

According to a detailed COVID-19 update today, Nov. 12, by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, people are socializing in their homes and before or after sports outings.

“The primary place this disease is being spread is in homes or social interactions,” Dr. Henry said. “Having people over to our house, having family gathering, having parties, celebrations.”

While some gyms are doing a very good job of preventing the spread of COVID-19 inside, it’s being spread by people socializing before or after going into the gym, they said. The same holds true for things like hockey games.

Or it's people having friends over and not having COVID safety plans in place that people would normally encounter when out shopping or working.

But, it’s also a seasonal virus. It was somewhat suppressed during the summer not only because it doesn’t deal as well with heat but also because people were outside more.

The disease is being contracted more by young adults but, because there are more cases, it’s spreading in the community and getting into long term care homes.

Dr. Henry provided three scenarios to show how dramatically a single infected person can spread COVID to hundreds of others.

Last summer, for example, one person with COVID-19 attended a wedding with 50 other people.

Fifteen of those guests tested positive which affected 10 other households and 37 other people had to self-isolate.

One person worked at a long term care home which led to 81 residents having to self-isolate in their rooms.

Three people were admitted to hospital and one died.

On the other hand, there have been 261 schools in B.C. where there have been exposures, which means someone with COVID-19 went into a school. But, there were less than a dozen schools where COVID-19 was actually transmitted in the school.

And, while there are cases where one person has affected hundreds of others, on average, people only transmit to one other.

While the vast majority of new cases are in the Lower Mainland and stretching resources there, Dr. Henry noted that cases are increasing all over the province so everyone needs to cut back on their socializing and retain their safe distancing and other measures to fight the spread of the disease.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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