Social distancing is helping, but we need to continue

Health Minister Adrian Dix and Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provide an update on COVID-19 on March 27, 2020 (Photo: Government of British Columbia)

There’s evidence that efforts by British Columbians to social distance are helping to slow the rate of growth of the coronavirus, but new cases are still growing and efforts need to continue.

That’s the message in a joint statement issued Friday, March 27 by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.

“We are tracking the epidemic curve closely here in B.C. We are also monitoring outbreaks in other nations to guide our health system preparations and public health response.

“In the past few days, our upward path has been less severe than other places, but we continue to see steady increases in community transmission cases and continue to be concerned about outbreaks, which could quickly grow and challenge our pandemic response.

“The evidence is clear: with every person in British Columbia 100% committed to physical distancing, we can flatten the curve. Over the next two weeks we must be united in this one goal.

“We strongly discourage any in-person gathering of any size at this time, but rather encourage using the many online options we have available today to stay connected to friends, family, customers and clients. – Joint statement from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer

The full statement is available here on the provincial government’s website.

The technical briefing report notes the decline in the average daily rate of increase from 24 percent down to 12 percent around March 21. It also includes other information, including provincial efforts to have hospitals ready as numbers increase of people needing hospital care.

This decline in the rate of increase is consistent with early evidence from other jurisdictions that have found rates of increase decline very soon after social distancing and isolation measures are introduced.

“There is some and growing evidence that public health measures being taken in B.C. are having the desired impact on transmission rates taking us below expected rates of growth.

“As the days of the epidemic pass here in B.C., curve for our acute care and ICU needs will become more clear. The impact of our public health measures should help bend that curve – and we are preparing for a higher curve if the trajectory changes.” – Covid-19 technical briefing, March 27



Author: Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is an Osoyoos photographer who worked at the Osoyoos Times between 2012 and 2018, first as reporter and then as editor. He has a long career in journalism as well as research, communication and management at the House of Commons in Ottawa and in the federal government.

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