This evening the BC Centre for Disease Control confirmed one new case of COVID-19 in the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation) for the week of January 17-23.
Despite our low numbers locally, the situation in the rest of B.C. is less positive. In her briefing on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said that provincially, we are on the brink of another spike in cases of COVID-19.
The province has plateaued with an average of 500 cases a day. This number leaves us at risk of experiencing a rapid uptake of cases, especially if we start to see an increase in new variant strains of the virus. As of Monday Dr. Henry reported that 5 cases of the UK variant and 3 cases of the South Africa variant have been detected in British Columbia.
We are in a similar position now to the one we were in before the fall surge, and our actions will dictate whether we see case numbers go up or down.
Because of this, Dr. Henry is asking all British Columbians to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus in the next couple of weeks.
We’re in a second incubation period, she explained, and if we take precautions now we have the opportunity to bend our curve back down.
Locally, this means we need to continue to:
- Avoid all non-essential travel
- Limit social interactions to immediate household or core bubble members
- Wear a mask in public spaces, and when you can’t maintain a distance of 6 feet
- Wash your hands regularly
- Stay home and get tested if you’re sick with cold or flu symptoms
For more details about the Public Health recommendations and province-wide restrictions visit this page.
Further delays of the Pfizer vaccine announced this week have prompted the provincial government to postpone the administration of second doses from 35 to 42 days. B.C. will be receiving “very little new vaccine” over the next two weeks, Dr. Henry reported, and supplies coming in February are also uncertain. The goal is to have additional catch-up shipments once the supply is re-established to maintain our vaccination schedule heading into the spring. We will keep the community updated as details become clear.
In the meantime, we can continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community best by following the Public Health recommendations outlined above.