On Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed his plans to lift COVID-19 lockdown restrictions by a month due to the Delta variant.
Evidence from the U.K. suggests that the variant spreads much more easily than others that have appeared in Canada so far.
B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Monday the Delta variant is “obviously a concern.”
“We are going back, as we have been all along, to making sure that we have strong resources to follow every single case of someone affected with COVID-19,” she said.
Last week, Henry said more than 80 per cent of B.C.’s COVID cases are considered variants. But the province is also doing genome sequencing on all cases detected in B.C., and they are able to do it quickly.
This means officials know exactly what strains are circulating and in what community, Henry said.
“As case numbers come down, it’s making that much easier to do,” she added.
B.C. has seen some cases of the Delta variant, including at a long-term care home and in a few communities, but Henry said the big difference between the U.K. and B.C. is that people in their teens, 20s and 30s in the U.K. are not getting the vaccine, whereas in B.C. we have a high number of immunizations in those age groups.
“We’re not seeing ongoing transmission and taking off of that strain versus any other strain right now,” Henry added.
Exposure to the Delta variant is still a little bit unclear, Henry said, but they have seen in B.C. that the vaccines are working at preventing all of the strains of the virus.
“It is incredibly important to get that second dose as soon as your eight weeks are there,” she said.View link »