Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

British Columbia’s top doctor says the province likely has Canada’s largest proportion of COVID-19 cases involving the more transmissible variant first identified in Brazil, but that’s partly because it is testing more for that strain.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday the Vancouver Coastal region is leading all other health authorities with about 70 per cent of P.1 variant cases because of a large number of cases linked to the resort town of Whistler.

Overall, just under 60 per cent of daily cases involve variants, including the one first associated with South Africa, though those cases are negligible compared with P.1 and the variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

Henry said the higher risk of transmission with variants prompted the three-week “circuit breaker” imposed last month that included closing indoor dining at restaurants and bars.

Travel between communities is driving higher cases of COVID-19, especially with more transmissible variants in indoor settings, Henry said as B.C. had a record 409 people in hospital, with a peak of 125 patients in intensive care.

“Your probability of being exposed to somebody is higher now because we have higher rates of transmission in the community. So, if I am seeing a group of 10 people, the probability that one of them has the virus … the potential to spread it to me right now is higher than it’s ever been,” Henry said.

While the risk of becoming infected has risen, stopping transmission requires following restrictions already in place such as gathering indoors only with people from the same household, she said.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Andrew and Eddie, seen here on Thursday, May 13, 2021, are two rabbits who are up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Andrew and Eddie at the Chilliwack SPCA

These two rabbits were living in poor conditions when the SPCA rescued them

Justin Bond’s Bahrain 1 took a team around a year to construct. It gets its name because the Sheik of Bahrain is a major sponsor of the team. / Photo courtesy of Justin Bond.
Mission dragracer wins Atlanta race, ousts back-to-back world champion

Justin Bond goes quarter-mile in 5.738-seconds, beating champ Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson on home turf

The Chilliwack Fire Department responded to a fully engulfed travel trailer fire around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Chris Gadsden)
UPDATE w/PHOTOS: Early-morning fire destroys trailer in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Fire Department called to Sinclair Road where travel trailer fire spread to house

Jamie and Erin O’Neill, who are renting a 107-year-old house at 45837 Knight Rd., are wanting to save it from the wrecking ball and move it when it comes time for the owners of the house to build a new house on the property. They are pictured here outside the home on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack couple wants to save 107-year-old home from demolition, asking for community support

O’Neills have less than year to find new property, raise funds to move Knight Road house

Karl Eha showing off a fishing rod that was originally made in 1972. Patrick Penner photo.
Mission’s Eha Sports offering store credit for old fishing gear, plans to donate to poor Latin American children

Karl Eha recalls time as hungry kid in post-war Germany, says fishing kept him full

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read