VANCOUVER — British Columbia is at a critical point when it comes to a potential surge of COVID-19 infections, B.C.’s provincial health officer warned on Thursday.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province still has the ability to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases currently being seen, but people need to follow public health protocols.
“We’re at that limit, we’re at that precipice if you will, where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low,” she said at a news conference.
Henry’s comments came during a presentation of COVID-19 modelling data, which shows residents are keeping their contacts at 60 to 70 per cent of normal in the lead up to a potential surge in cases.
She urged people to avoid activities that are considered high-risk, such as spending time with groups of people they may not know, particularly ahead of the Labour Day long weekend.
“Our well-being as a community, as a province, is about getting back to work, getting back into classrooms, keeping businesses going and staying healthy,” she said. “It’s not an either/or situation. What we do need to do is pause those activities that we know are a for high-risk to all of us.”
There’s no magic number in terms of personal interactions you may have, and people may need to make sacrifices in their lives to keep interactions low, Henry added.
B.C. announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 as well as one additional death, bringing the province’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 6,041 and 210 deaths.
The modelling data presented Thursday shows that people in two age groups — between 20 and 29, and 30 and 39 — continue to make up the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
Henry’s warning comes after Premier John Horgan said earlier in the day that the B.C. government will continue to use a “carrot and stick” approach to encouraging people to follow COVID-19 safety measures.
“I believe that the goodwill of British Columbians will win out,” adding that people who disregard public health orders face “significant” fines.
“And we’ll continue with that method of carrot and stick until we get the types of outcomes all British Columbians want to see.”
Horgan said officials have been working “overtime” to remind the public that a global health pandemic is ongoing.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2020.
Montreal and Quebec City will enter red zone soon: Dubé – Montreal Gazette
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“They’re decisions that will be very difficult, but we have to make them,” Dubé said.
On Sunday, Quebec had 71,901 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 4,937 were active and 5,825 had died. Of the active cases, 216 were in hospital, and of those 41 were in intensive care. The number of people in hospitals has increased 57 per cent in a week.
A total of 27,380 people tested on Friday, for a cumulative total of 2,260,835 people tested to date.
The rising number of infections underlines the need for people to forgo social gatherings, said Dr. Jay Kaufman, an epidemiologist at McGill University.
Get-togethers with friends and family functions are likely the main cause of the recent uptick in the spread of the virus, which is seeing its highest numbers since cases peaked in April and May, he said.
Montreal and Quebec City will be upgraded to red alert 'in coming days', says Dubé – CBC.ca
Montreal and Quebec City will be upgraded to the highest COVID-19 alert level “in the coming days” according to provincial Health Minister Christian Dubé.
He confirmed the two cities would move from orange to red alert while speaking on Radio-Canada’s popular Sunday night talk show, Tout le monde en parle.
“Montreal and Quebec City are the hardest hit areas at the moment. They’re very close to the red zone,” he said. “We’re going to announce in the coming days because I think we’ve arrived at that point. We’re there and we have to act because people are expecting us to be transparent.”
Dubé said that difficult decisions lie ahead but didn’t give details on exactly what the red zone restrictions would look like.
The number of COVID-19 infections in the province continues to surge, with Quebec reporting 896 new cases on Sunday.
The island of Montreal has the most new cases at 375. The Quebec City area clocks in at 120 and the Montérégie has 83 new cases.
Dubé and public health officials have been calling on people to stop socializing for the next month in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Possible COVID-19 exposures at two Winnipeg schools – CTV News Winnipeg
Public health officials are advising Manitobans about a possible COVID-19 exposure at two Winnipeg Schools.
According to the province, a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in École Précieux-Sang on Sept. 18.
The province also announced a possible exposure at Sisler High School on Sept. 18.
In both cases, health officials warned that the individuals might have been infectious at the time.
The province is deeming both exposures as low risk, citing the virus was not acquired at either school.
According to the province, both schools are working closely with public health officials and following their recommendations.
Anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted and provided instructions for self-isolation.
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