VANCOUVER -- A clinical professor has a stark warning for residents of British Columbia about the number of contacts they're seeing.

The University of British Columbia professor said the province could start to see numbers as high as Ontario's, if residents of the West Coast don't reduce contacts by 40 per cent.

"We're about a month behind Ontario," said Dr. Maria Chung, an associate professor of geriatric medicine.

"We have a significant amount of variants (which are) more easily spread."

Chung says some people are not taking public health guidelines seriously. She said she's concerned about increasing pressures being put on the provincial health-care system, which is causing fatigue among front-line workers.

While B.C.'s hospitals aren't anywhere near capacity yet, she said there's reason to be wary.

"I can see it going that way if things don't change," Chung said.

"I've been a physician for over 30 years. I've never seen anything like this in B.C."

She added continued hesitancy toward vaccines is making the situation even more dire.