B.C. could nearly wipe out COVID-19 by September with 70% contact rate and high vaccine uptake: officials

Provincial modeling suggests British Columbia could virtually eliminate COVID-19 by September if vaccination for the second dose is intensified and individual interactions remain below pre-pandemic levels.

A 70 percent interaction rate, combined with a higher vaccine, would mean zero new cases a day by the start of that month, according to data presented Thursday by provincial health official Dr. Bonnie Henry.

In comparison, with a low vaccine uptake and an 80-percent interaction rate, BC will record 200 new COVID-19 cases a day in early September.

The virus’s reproduction rate has been falling steadily, now below 1.0 across all health authorities. The provincial average is between .57 and .63. This means that for every 100 cases, only 57 to 63 will be passed on to someone else.

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Now the types of concerns BC . make up more than 80 percent of all COVID-19 case samples tested in

People aged five to 12 years make up 6.1 percent of cases and 7.7 percent of the population.

They make up 6.7 percent of cases 13 to 18 and six percent of the population.

There have been no deaths among school children due to COVID-19.

Virus-related hospitalization is one in 200 for school-going children, compared to one in 20 for those over 19.

The province is set to gradually reopen, with Phase 2 expected to begin on June 15.

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This phase includes outdoor individual gatherings of up to 50 people, indoor play dates for children, indoor seating of up to 50 people with a COVID-19 safety plan, and the opening of cinemas.

It will allow recreational travel across the province, serving liquor at licensed establishments till midnight and banquet halls to resume.

Indoor high-intensity group exercises with reduced capacity will also be permitted, along with indoor games and drills for both adults and youth group/team sports. Outdoor games can hold up to 50 spectators.

Moving on to the next step is based on vaccination and transmission of the virus.

When the province announced the restart plan on May 25, the rolling seven-day average for daily cases was 329 and there were 301 people in hospital.

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On Thursday, the seven-day average stood at 168 cases and 195 in hospital. Also, the number of patients in intensive care decreased from 93 to 47.

Vaccination is another important metric. The province said Wednesday that 74.5 percent of adults had received at least one dose of the vaccine, well above the threshold needed to move to Phase 2.

Some areas of the province still have high rates of transmission.

Grand Forks is the current hot spot in the province, with 16 new cases per 100,000 population. Abbotsford, Cranbrook and Upper Skina have about 10 cases per 100,000.

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