British Columbia

B.C. reducing live COVID-19 briefings to once a week

As COVID-19 numbers in British Columbia continue to trend downward, health officials are scaling back the number of in-person briefings held weekly.

Latest numbers will still be released daily via written statement

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have provided in-person briefings for the British Columbian press and public at least twice weekly for months. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

As COVID-19 numbers in British Columbia continue to trend downward, health officials are scaling back the number of in-person briefings held weekly. 

For months, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have appeared in-person before the public and the press to provide the latest virus information — including case and vaccine numbers — at least twice a week.

These in-person briefings were usually scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays, with the first one of the week recapping weekend data.

According to the health ministry, these events will now be once a week and are currently scheduled for Tuesdays. Officials are scheduled to present in-person today at 3 p.m.

The decision to step back comes as the COVID-19 situation in B.C. improves.

In the last 24 hours, the province confirmed just 45 new cases, marking the lowest one-day total since August 2020. The seven-day rolling average of new cases has now dipped below 100 for the first time since October.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy, an infectious disease specialist at B.C. Children's Hospital, told CBC Radio on Tuesday he thinks it is a reasonable time to take a breather as long as statements with transparent statistics, such as the number of cases and immunizations, are still provided.

"By no means is this over and by no means can we sort of forget about COVID-19," said Murthy.

He said if numbers start to rise, or a variant of concern starts circulating that poses a risk to those vaccinated, then the government may have to return to more frequent briefings.

The ministry says in-person availability could become more frequent if the situation changes.

With files from The Early Edition

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