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Fraser Health could see major COVID-19 spread through May if current trends hold, modelling shows

Click to play video: 'B.C. modelling data looking back at first year of pandemic' B.C. modelling data looking back at first year of pandemic
Dynamic modelling presented by the province Thursday showed that if British Columbians reduce social contacts the spread of the virus could disappear in the province by May. Keith Baldrey has more this and the new public health orders announced. – Mar 11, 2021

British Columbia health officials are once again warning an increase in contact rate would lead to a massive surge of COVID-19, especially in Fraser Health.

Dynamic modelling presented by the province Thursday showed that if British Columbians reduce social contacts the spread of the virus could disappear in the province by May.

But if indoor, non-masked face-to-face contact rates go up just a little more, the province would see daily new cases of the virus climb to more than 1,200 province-wide by May.

Read more: British Columbia to open vaccine registration for seniors aged 85+ Thursday at noon

The modelling does not factor in the impact vaccines have on spread or what impact the current vaccination plan would have on case counts.

In a regional breakdown, the modelling showed Fraser Health alone could see between 500 and 1,500 new cases a day by May, if current trends held.

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Pausing to remember those lost to COVID-19 – Mar 11, 2021

The trend lines for the other health authorities do not indicate the same growth.

Surrey continued to be the province’s COVID-19 hotspot, with 863 new cases in the city in the last week.

Spread of the virus also continued at an alarming rate along B.C.’s North Coast, with Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii all seeing daily increases at a higher rate of 20 cases per 100,000 residents.

The province has a plan to vaccinate everyone in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii by the end of April.

Read more: B.C. reports 531 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death

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Dr. Bonnie Henry’s tearful reminder to ‘be kind’ on the first anniversary of the pandemic – Mar 11, 2021

The provincial reproduction rate for the virus continues to hover around one. A rate of more than one opens up the door for growth of the virus.

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British Columbia is now second in Canada when it comes to daily COVID-19 cases counts per capita. Only Saskatchewan has more than B.C.

Public health’s data also showed the vaccine is working to slow virus spread. Comparing long-term care residents to non-long term care residents, the numbers show those vaccinated have a much lower rate of contracting the virus.

At the beginning of December there were as many COVID cases in long-term care in a single-week period as there everywhere else in the province.

By mid-February the weekly cases count was around 2,800 non-long-term care cases and 20 long-term care cases.

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