Island Health reported three new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. There were 499 new cases and two new deaths across the province, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. Currently there are 67 people in hospital with the virus, including 19 in ICU.
“One can say that we are in our second wave here, of our COVID-19 storm in B.C., but we have control over what that wave looks like and we have shown that we can do that,” she said.
There are 1,639 active active cases and 4,028 people under public health monitoring across B.C., according to Henry.
She said she was encouraged the province is not seeing exponential growth in cases and the number of people in hospital has stabilized.
“This virus has not gone away and it has shown us that it is quite able to hide and spread in our communities around the province,” said Henry.
She said most people who get COVID-19 transmit the virus to one person or nobody, but others transmit to a large number of people and it is not always clear why.
“We’ve heard them referred to as the four C’s — in an enclosed environment where [there is] close contact with crowds,” she said.
Henry said super-spreader transmission events have occurred in places with poor ventilation, such as workplaces and nightclubs. New cases are mostly coming from small transmission chains from within a family or small group.
“We were seeing quite a lot more large-spreader events when we had the nightclubs open [and] when there were large parties through the summer, but mostly those have settled down,” said Henry.
She added the risk in settings such as restaurants is lower because of the six person table limit and less close contact between people who do not know each other, which can make contact tracing more difficult for public health officials. Pubs and other live music venues need to be closed for cleaning an hour after a performance.
“We want to have adequate time for cleaning, but also for air exchanges within the building. These are all important things that minimize risk so that we can keep businesses open,” said Henry.