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Province shifting guidelines on COVID-19 testing and management

The province is shifting how they’re managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are clearly not in a place where it’s endemic right now,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“What we’re doing is adjusting to the changes we’ve seen from the new variant, it’s what we’re dealing with right now.”

Henry says most people in BC do not need to be tested for COVID-19, despite record high test positivity rates.

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Henry says the test positivity rate is around 20 to 30 per cent, but that means 70 per cent do not have the virus.

BC residents are encouraged to check the BCCDC symptom checker to see if they need to be tested.

In addition, she says contract tracing isn’t effective against the Omicron variant, because of the shorter incubation period and milder symptoms.

With the level of transmission with the province, Henry says you should assume you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Henry says at this time, everyone needs to routinely self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and if you have symptoms, stay home until you feel better.

“As long as we are feeling well in this new context, we can and must continue going to work, going to school, and socializing safely in our small groups,” Henry added.

“I absolutely recognize this is a shift, and it means we have to change our way of thinking that we have been working on so intently together for the last two years,” Henry said.

“But we’re all familiar with these new measures, they’re much more like how we manage other respiratory illnesses even.”

She added that it’s important to use all layers of protection, such as vaccines, wearing high quality masks in indoor settings, keeping groups small, and being extra cautious for those at higher risks.

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