Things need to change. During an update to the public on Thursday, August 13, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced what the future of COVID-19 in B.C. could look like. She presented data showing that if things keep going in the same direction, we're at risk of a second wave of COVID-19.
Dr. Henry says B.C. needs to focus on slowing the growth of new cases. She referenced to a graph that showed where we currently are versus where she would like us to be.
As of now, she says we need to pay attention to re-flattening the curve.
“When we pay attention to it we can bend the curve back down. We are now starting on a bit of an upwards swing again and we need to pay attention to that,” said the official.
Following this, Henry released a different graph that showed projections of what things could look like should we continue on this path.
Calling it concerning, the health official stated that this isn’t a predicted model.
“It doesn’t tell us what’s going to happen, it tells us what can happen. And right now we have it in our ability to make the changes we need to bend the curve back down,” said Henry.
If we did continue on this path, a larger wave of outbreaks would be expected to hit in September.
Henry estimates that we're currently in the “contact rate of 70% of normal.”
This means we're only having contact with about 70% of the people we normally would. This could be due to keeping our circles smaller or not going out as much.
Regardless, cases are still projected to increase.
The health official noted that we can bring the curve back down if the “contacts are safe” and we continue to do things like social distancing, wearing masks, and keeping our circles relatively small.
While contact tracing has aided in reducing the numbers of cases, Henry noted that people still need to continue to do their part in order to ensure cases remain low.
“The two of them need to work together to keep us on a flat steady line over the next couple of months,” explained Henry.
She said that B.C. is still seeing low community transmission rates and most cases have been linked to local clusters that contact tracing has managed to isolate.
One of the clusters that happened was in Kelowna over the Canada Day long weekend.
Following this, more restaurants and even a local strip club had potential exposures.
The latest data provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control reads that there has been a total of 4,274 cases in the province.
With 78 new cases, four people have been admitted into the ICU with an additional nine being hospitalized.