North Island medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns is sharing her thoughts on how the pandemic is shaping up on North Vancouver Island. 

She says as we inch closer towards the one-year mark, it’s important to remember that it is still a pandemic, and we should be following all provincial health guidelines.

“Until enough of the population is vaccinated, we need to continue to act and respond and practice those basic public health recommendations until we’re out the other side of the pandemic.”

She also says while more cases are being reported on the North Island, in the big picture, we are doing quite well.

“Even the numbers we’ve seen as a result of this weekend, I guess I just want to reassure that  in the big picture for a global pandemic those are low numbers. But I understand the perception is concerning because of how low rates and cases have been for the north island.”

Five schools on the North Island have also recently been added to Island Health’s exposure list and our newsroom asked Dr. Enns if this is something that parents should be concerned about.

“When there is more COVID activity at the community level it will be reflected in schools. Schools are just a reflection of the larger community. Those school exposures; there were three for the Comox Valley and two for Campbell River, those were single cases for each of those schools.”

“Transmission is not amplified in schools, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. We’ve seen really great management and control at the school level. Public schools are doing a fantastic  job with being able to continue with education and have students in class even in a pandemic.”

Dr. Enns says the more we work to address transmission at the community level, the more we can be sure it won’t appear in schools. 

Overall she says we have to find the balance in our lives and make sure we are doing all we can to prevent transmission.

“My other hope or thing that concerns me is that people take responsibility for themselves and thier role in limiting transmission. Dont worry so much about everybody else.”

“Social media has not helped, people calling out other people is not helping. Let’s just stay focused on what we have control or decision-making ability over. Let’s keep trying as much as we can doing that right thing to limit transmission.”