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B.C. health officials warning continued behaviour will lead to ‘not stable’ growth of COVID-19 virus

Click to play video 'COVID-19 warning: B.C. still at tipping point' COVID-19 warning: B.C. still at tipping point
B.C.'s top doctor is warning that the province is still at a tipping point with COVID-19, and is changing her guidance on one of her most familiar rules. Richard Zussman reports.

There is increased worry from B.C. health officials of rapid growth of the spread of COVID-19 if British Columbians continue to operate at current contact rates.

Modelling data presented on Thursday shows new cases of the virus will rise over 150 a day if contacts remain at about 70 per cent of normal. If contacts go up to 80 per cent, new cases of the virus go up even higher.

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Is it okay now to maintain one metre of physical distance instead of two?

“Our model illustrates the importance of reducing transmission in order to ensure epidemic control,” reads the presentation from public health.

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“Transmission is reduced by having fewer infectious contacts, through means such as physical distancing and masking when appropriate.”

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The new data comes as British Columbia struggles to get a grip on COVID-19 case growth. But recent trends show there has not been a rapid increase in hospitalizations.

Click to play video 'What do the latest COVID-19 modelling numbers mean for British Columbians?' What do the latest COVID-19 modelling numbers mean for British Columbians?
What do the latest COVID-19 modelling numbers mean for British Columbians?

In late March and early April, there were more than 130 people in hospital with the virus each day. Right now, even though there are more active cases of the virus, there are around 20 to 30 people in the hospital.

There continues to be a shift of who is getting the virus in the province. British Columbians from 20 to 29 years of age are leading the way with around 190 of the active cases on Aug. 23. There has been a slight drop off for those 30 to 39 years of age with around 120 cases in last August, down a few dozen from two weeks earlier.

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Click to play video 'Premier John Horgan on shift in messaging around stopping spread of COVID-19' Premier John Horgan on shift in messaging around stopping spread of COVID-19
Premier John Horgan on shift in messaging around stopping spread of COVID-19

Kids aged 10 to 19 are also seeing an increase, with more active cases at the end of August in that demographic than in people older than 70.

There were more than 40 active cases for those 10 to 19 years of age on Aug. 23.

The epicentre of the virus continues to be in Metro Vancouver. During the week of Aug. 23 to 29, there were 18.6 cases out of every 100,000 people in Vancouver Coastal Health. At the same time, there were 15.7 cases out of 100,000 in Fraser Health and 1.3 cases out of 100,000 in Island Health.