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Dr. Bonnie Henry says ‘new game’ with Omicron variant could signal end of COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Bonnie Henry, a health officer for British Columbia, said the record spike in COVID-19 cases in the province could eventually lead to a stage where the virus becomes endemic.

The county is seeing its worst rise in infections to date, driven by the most contagious Omicron variant, with 4,383 cases were recorded on Thursday Mark the record at all times for everyday situations.

In a year-end interview with CBC News, Henry said Omicron’s spread was “unexpectedly rapid” for county health authorities, calling it a “new game” for the pandemic.

Submitted assembly restrictions In response to the fifth wave of the boycott, on December 17, the announced on Wednesday Most K-12 students will be back one week later than usual after winter break.

“I was totally hurt about making the decisions we made [Dec. 17]”,” She said. “Then I spent the whole weekend hurting even more… I had to check my optimism bias.

“It was a very difficult decision, but I felt we needed to overreact rather than overreact at the time.”

Although daily cases in the county have peaked, contact tracing and testing at full capacity (Which means that the real BC state is important It could be much higher than that), Henry says she believes the county will eventually see the end of the pandemic.

“The way the virus changes with Omicron – that brings us to that place sooner,” she said. “The kind of disease it causes, with most of us protected through vaccination, means we’ll get to that place.”

Watch | Dr. Bonnie Henry says her decisions were based on the information available:

Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses criticism of pandemic leadership

Dr. Henry says she knows not everyone is happy with her decision about the pandemic, but she is surprised by the amount of personal attacks she has received. 1:10

Henry says the virus will eventually become endemic As the season turns to spring, more children are being vaccinated and the spread of infection slows, though she said there are still many unknowns ahead.

“I think we got there, but we will always have to learn some lessons from this,” she said.

“Some of it is societal — about the inequalities this virus has exposed and the value we place on different types of workers, for example.”

I have never felt political pressure

Henry, who has been the face of the county’s response to COVID-19, with Prime Minister John Horgan waning, says she has never felt political interference during the course of the pandemic.

“I have great respect for our elected officials,” she said. “They have a very important role, and my role is to give the best advice possible and try to find that balance.”

Henry is seen with British Columbia Prime Minister John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix. It has been the face of the county’s response to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Henry also revealed that she has regular meetings with the opposition party, British Columbia liberals, as well as with health officials across the country and the province.

She said she is grateful for the advice and criticism she has received from her various meetings, and said that officials have allowed her to take the lead when making important decisions.

Make a decision based on the available information

Henry said she is sticking to decisions the province has made about the course of the pandemic, despite continued criticism of British Columbia. respond very slowly to the spread of COVID-19.

“I have a strong feeling that we make rational decisions with the best information we have,” she said. “I don’t think we are doing a better or worse job than we did from the start.”

Henry said she was very proud of her decisions To delay the second dose and saving Mixed and Matched Vaccine Doses. She commended the community for stepping up cooperation with the BC Offering.

She said there were many decisions she would have changed a little more had she known more, but she didn’t go into details.

“I’ve said from the start that we are waiting for mutual accusations, mass lawsuits and public investigations before we start celebrating anything,” she said with a laugh.

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