COVID-19 in B.C.: Dr. Bonnie Henry still won't utter the words "COVID is airborne" on second anniversary of first diagnosis

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      Today (January 28) B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, delivered a detailed rundown of various measures that have been taken to combat COVID-19.

      It came on the second anniversary of the first diagnosis of COVID-19 in B.C. and marked the province's 276th media briefing about the virus.

      During her presentation, Henry did not once say that COVID-19 or the Omicron variant is "airborne".

      Nor has the B.C. government created a public-education campaign to warn of the dangers of airborne transmission of COVID-19.

      This has upset groups such as Protect Our Province B.C. and Safe Schools Coalition B.C., which have called on the province to take stronger measures to address ventilation and air filtration to reduce the spread of the virus.

      These two groups been influenced by international researchers who've published papers in the Lancet and other journals highlighting how public-health officials have downplayed or minimized airborne transmission of COVID-19.

      Video: Last year, the U.K. government created this video to alert the public to the dangers of airborne COVID-19.

      Death toll keeps rising

      Later in the briefing, Global News B.C. reporter Richard Zussman asked about the high number of deaths recently from COVID-19. Earlier this week, a record 21 people died in a single day in B.C.

      The overall death toll from COVID-19 is approaching 2,600 in B.C.

      Zussman wanted to know more about the people who've died recently.

      Henry replied that about 40 percent of the recent deaths involved residents of long-term care. She also mentioned that others who passed away recently were older and had underlying illnesses.

      She added that there have been two people in their 40s who died recently of COVID-19. She later noted that younger people who've died over the course of the pandemic have tended to be unvaccinated.

      The final question came from CBC News reporter Belle Puri, who wanted to know if there was anything Henry wished she had done differently in responding to COVID-19.

      "I'm not sure I'm at the point where regrets are what we need," Henry responded.

      She later clarified her answer by saying that if she regrets anything, it was not always communicating major policy changes in an accessible way.

      In a follow-up response, Health Minister Adrian Dix emphasized that the province's actions have come after a look at the evidence and the facts.

      "B.C. has had, relative to other jurisdictions, some success but there have been real losses," Dix stated.

      Yesterday (January 27), the province reported that there were 977 people with COVID-19 in B.C. hospitals.

      Dix acknowledged that the number might be slightly higher today.

      The province normally releases its statistics later in the afternoon.

      This chart shows that B.C. has recorded fewer deaths per capita than other large provinces in Canada.