Indoor organised gatherings to remain banned in BC
Covid cases are on the rise in BC and on 18 January 2022, health officials reported that 854 people are in hospitals with Covid-19. It includes 112 people who are in intensive care. BC also reported two more deaths, while there have been 2032 new cases in the province.
On account of the increased number of cases, BC health officials have decided to extend the ban on indoor organised gatherings like wedding and funeral receptions until 16 February 2022. However, fitness centres and gyms across BC will be allowed to open gradually as of 20 January 2022.
The 50% restriction on theatres and stadiums will remain, while nightclubs, bars, and lounges will remain shut in the province.
When the gyms reopen, vaccine cards will be mandatory for entry, and restrictions on capacity limits will be in place. People inside the gyms will be required to be spaced apart and masks will be mandatory for those working out and for the trainers.
Health officials stated that they are extending the restrictions based on the current rate of the Covid transmission and hospitalisation.
Restrictions were introduced on 31 December 2021
BC introduced restrictions on 31 December 2021, when Omicron cases were on the rise in the province. According to the restrictions, indoor gatherings were restricted to one household plus 10 other individuals or one other household.
Everyone attending a gathering was required to be vaccinated and no unvaccinated person was allowed to attend any social gatherings or parties.
Restaurants, cafes, and pubs were allowed to stay open, but only a maximum of six guests were allowed to be seated per table. Indoor dining was allowed if you follow social distancing requirements.
Theatres, concerts, sports events, lectures, and other indoor events were allowed to function but only with 50% capacity, no matter the size.
PHO Safety Recommendations
Under the Public Health Act, Public Health Officer (PHO) had issued additional safety recommendations for the public in BC.
People are encouraged to reduce social interactions
Outdoor events and gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings
Stay at home if you feel sick
Ensure proper ventilation indoors by opening windows
Avoid all travel if you are not fully vaccinated
You can find the detailed provincial and regional restrictions on the government website.
Health care system getting ready for more hospitalisation
The health care system and the staff are getting ready to handle more hospitalisation cases as they expect a rapid rise in such cases over the coming week or two. There is a significant lag between new infections and people ending up in hospitals for the new Omicron variant.
Health workers have been in the forefront in handling the Covid crisis for the past two years and they are experiencing exhaustion, not to mention getting infected like the rest of the population.
The stress on the healthcare system is one of the main reasons why the restrictions are getting extended, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer.
Dr. Henry said that her department will review the public health orders once they are set to end on 16 February 2022.
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