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Change to shorter isolation period part of managing COVID-19 in B.C.: Dr. Bonnie Henry

BY The Canadian Press, translated by Connect News, Jan 22, 2022 1:34 AM - REPORT AN ERROR

Dr. Bonnie Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry

British Columbia's top doctor says the current wave of COVID-19 is causing less severe illness and that calls for a shift to shorter periods of isolation in order to minimize societal disruptions.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says unvaccinated adults who test positive are at risk of having longer-lasting and more severe illness and must isolate for 10 days but those who are vaccinated should isolate for five days.

She says children are at much lower risk of severe illness and are able to clear an infection faster, so five days' isolation is also suitable for them, with mounting evidence showing they need to interact with others as part of their social development.

Dr. Henry says testing is not needed for most people who have symptoms and are likely to have a mild illness but those who are immunocompromised and over 70 could end up with more serious illness and likely need a test.

She says vaccination remains the best protection for everyone, especially for vulnerable groups, but anyone with symptoms should stay home until they feel better, the same as with other respiratory illnesses like the flu.

Dr. Henry says COVID-19 is far from being an endemic illness so restrictions that are in place are needed to prevent more hospitalizations, though those numbers have been declining.

BC has announced a change in its plan to manage the COVID-19 virus. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says contact tracing is not effective any more and the onus is on people to self-monitor for symptoms.

Dr. Henry says the change in planning can't be called a ``shift'' and says the province needs to learn how the manage the virus.

She says BC will be treating COVID-19 more like a common cold.

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