Categories: Home2News

Anyone with COVID symptoms should assume they are infected and stay home: Henry

At a Dec. 24 news conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry called the Omicron variant a ‘game changer’.

“Omicron is different, we’re in a different game, a different pandemic now,” she said.

Henry shared that Omicron’s incubation period is reduced from the usual average of five to seven days down to two or three days. Omicron sits in the upper portion of the respiratory tract, which makes it even more infectious with aerosolized transmission.

The highly infectious variant has strained B.C.’s testing capacity. Henry advised only those with symptoms who need a PCR test to go to testing centres. B.C. can administer as many as 20,000 PCR tests a day and will be supplementing with rapid tests where available. Due to the limited capacity and supply of tests, rapid tests will not be used for people who are asymptomatic.

Even with the limited testing capacity, B.C. has been setting record daily case counts. On Thursday (Dec. 23), the province recorded 2,046 new cases of COVID-19 and one death.

“If you have any symptoms, you must assume you have COVID and take measures to avoid passing it on,” Henry said.

People with symptoms should self-isolate for at least 10 days. Fully vaccinated people, particularly young people, are not advised to get tested. Henry said the priority for PCR tests is for people who “need to know” whether they’re infected such as health care workers.

Henry once again cautioned against having large holiday gatherings and pleaded with British Columbians to keep their celebrations small. She added that there are still many unknowns with Omicron, however, the variant has shown it can infect those who are double vaccinated and reinfect those who have already had COVID-19.

B.C. is racing to get booster shots to the public. To date, the province has administered 807,094 booster doses and is working to bring mass vaccination clinics back online. Starting in January, the province estimates booster capacity will increase by 62 per cent.

The province will provide written updates on case counts, vaccination data and preliminary case counts on Dec. 27 and 28. Regular case counts and media availability will resume on Dec. 28.

READ MORE: Rapid testing to expand; return of mass-vaccination sites for COVID booster shots in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. records 2,046 COVID-19 cases; 1 death


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Cole Schisler

Leave a Comment
Published by
Cole Schisler
Tags: Coronavirus

Recent Posts

Delayed dinner, dance party on tap after Oak Bay recreation centre turns 50

Vinyl Wave with Tom and Dave perform the 50th anniversary Sept. 17

21 mins ago

Greater Victoria tech community pulls together for Ukraine

Fundraisers help humanitarian, defence efforts; job supports assist in relocations

51 mins ago

LETTER: Drivers are what create hazards on Highway 14

At one time I thought Premier John Horgan was good for B.C., however, when he…

51 mins ago

LETTER: Doctor shortage impacts fertility rate

The two recent articles, ‘Victoria has lowest fertility rate in Canada’ and ‘CRD chair blames…

51 mins ago

PHOTOS: Highland Games return to Topaz Park

Pipes, drums, dancers, and cabers all on show

1 hour ago

Some Jif peanut butter products recalled due to potential salmonella contamination

Jars with lot codes 1274425 through 2140425 should be disposed of immediately

2 hours ago