As COVID-19 spreads across the globe and governments respond to the threat, one province is looking in pretty good shape when you compare it to its southern neighbour. B.C. COVID-19 tests far outnumber that of the U.S. After confirming just eight cases after more than 1000 tests, B.C. health officials say the risk to the public is low.
B.C.'s Centre for Disease Control announced on February 27 that 1,012 people were tested for COVID-19. In contrast, the entire U.S. has only tested 459 people in total.
"We were the first province to put together a response team," said B.C. Premier John Horgan on Friday, February 28, according to Global News.
"We have tested more people in British Columbia than the entire United States."
The U.S. has over 329 million people and B.C. only has around 5 million. There is almost 66 times the number of people in the states than B.C.
Of the U.S.'s almost 500 tests, 102 cases of coronavirus were confirmed and six have died, according to CNN.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer, said the province has been doing "everything we can" to protect people.
"We have a very low threshold for testing people because we want to be absolutely certain that nobody has this and that we're doing the right things," she said during a media availability on Thursday, January 28.
"You will hear from us if people have this disease and have been diagnosed with it here."
#Coronavirus update: - BC has a new case of #COVID19, the province's 8th. - Four cases have fully recovered; the ot… https://t.co/WwmzRHWjHV— BCCDC (@BCCDC)1583004304.0
One of the first cases in the province has already recovered, and the BCCDC says that the risk of getting COVID-19 in the province is relatively low.
Very strange moment now as we wait for mass testing to find out just how large the scope of coronavirus actually is… https://t.co/heQBlofYXu— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1583083506.0
Despite the assurance, however, there has been widespread fear and anxiety over the virus. Vancouverites are rushing to their local Costcos and emptying the shelves of survival supplies.
Meanwhile, people in the U.S. have been growing frustrated over the lack of screenings, reports the New York Times.
Despite the relatively low risk, B.C. is taking the issue very seriously.
Canada has been warning about a potential coronavirus pandemic and told people to stock up on supplies to prepare.