Health officials say contact tracing is no longer an effective way to control the spread of the coronavirus and British Columbians need to self-monitor for symptoms, follow health orders and, above all, protect society’s most vulnerable. Asking to get vaccinated to help.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry briefed the public on the latest situation in B.C. during a Friday morning news conference. Henry said the province is changing its approach to managing the virus in light of the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Henry said there is no longer the ability to test everyone who thinks they may have contracted the disease, and given that most people suffer mild symptoms when infected with Omicron, the change is likely to prevent transmission. direction will be
“We have to change the way we think,” Henry said.
She urged anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated, to do so immediately. Other prevention measures should come as no surprise to British Columbians at this point: these include frequent hand washing, social distancing, keeping social gatherings short, wearing masks and following workplace safety plans.
“We can’t eliminate all risks, and I think that’s something we need to understand and accept,” Henry said.
People who are medically weak or immunocompromised should get a COVID-19 test if they feel sick, Henry said, as they may need immediate treatment.
But everyone else should self-isolate at home if they suspect they have the virus, she said.
5 days isolation for vaccination, 10 without vaccination
She said that the Omicron variant has a faster incubation period than previous variants, and has determined what needs to be done if people have the virus.
People who have been vaccinated, as well as children, have to isolate for five days – this is because, according to Henry, the vaccine helps people clear the virus from their systems faster and prevents children from developing severe infections. The risk of disease is reduced.
Non-vaccinated people who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days.
The in-person briefing comes in the middle of a fifth wave of the pandemic in the province, with the highly permeable Omicron version causing strain on hospitals.
As of Thursday, 95 per cent of hospital beds in all health sectors were occupied. The number of patients in intensive care has increased by about 35 percent since last month.
The province reported a total of 58 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term and acute-care facilities on Thursday.
The highest risk factor for becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19 remains age, with people over 70 being the most vulnerable, Henry said Friday.
wanted rapid test
Omicron has also raised calls for rapid testing in B.C., which has not been readily available to residents by the provincial government.
The Ministry of Education says 200,000 rapid antigen test kits are being sent to B.C.’s school districts, independent schools and First Nation schools this week for staff, including teachers and administrators.
It said the number of teaching and non-teaching staff will determine how many kits go to each school district.
The ministry says that there are about 103,700 employees working in government, private and first nation schools.
Many advocates and opposition legislators say they want the test to be freely available to all B.C. residents, as another layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19.