There are 51 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island — an increase of 16 in the past two days. Island Health is reporting 17 active cases in central Vancouver Island, 23 in the south and 11 in the north.
There are now 5,793 active cases of the virus in B.C. — 1,130 cases were reported in the last two days.
The number of cases is accelerating, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and the number of daily cases has been doubling every 13 days. The increase in transmission is threatening the province’s ability to do contact tracing.
“We’re reaching our limits and that is why we need to take measures now to reduce those transmissions,” said Henry. She added the restrictions put in place on the weekend were in response to this concern.
Across the province there are 155 people hospitalized with the virus, including 44 in intensive care. Four additional deaths were reported, including three in long-term care and an elderly person in the community.
Henry said she is concerned about a dramatic increase in COVID-19 transmission to people over the age of 80.
“There are things we could get away with in the summer — probably because of the seasonality of this virus. We’re learning it doesn’t spread as well when temperatures are warmer, when humidity is lower,” she said.
The positivity rate in B.C. has increased across every age group — this week 5.4 per cent of tests came back positive, another reason for tighter restrictions, Henry said.
Schools do not appear to be a large source of transmission, according to Henry. There have been 261 exposure events, but less than a dozen instances of the virus spreading in a school.
“It will end. We do have hope. The is not forever. This week we’ve heard positive news about vaccines that will be becoming available early in the new year,” said Henry. “And we are planning so that we can have those vaccines to people who need them as quickly as we possibly can.”