COVID-19: Restrictions on gatherings and events could be lifted next week in British Columbia

There are four active public health orders in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community

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Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry said her public health order for gatherings and events could be lifted when it expires next week.

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“What you hear next week will be the details of how we’re going to move forward,” Henry said. “Orders for gatherings and events will be reviewed on the 16th (February), and we will publish in detail on the 15th what we are doing for the next few weeks.

“You will hear less about the pandemic as we go through this wave, and more about how we can continue to manage our personal risks as restrictions are adjusted based on what we see, in terms of transmission and hospitalizations.”

Four active public health orders have been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The decree of gatherings and events is the only one to have an expiry date.

The other orders — with no expiration date — are the Face Coverings Ordinance, the Dining Places Ordinance, and the COVID Preventive Measures Ordinance for Residential Care.

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The Gatherings and Events Ordinance governs indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, indoor events at venues, and gatherings at casinos, places of worship and workplaces. It also covers fitness and exercise activities, sports activities and aquatic centers.

Under the ordinance, indoor personal gatherings are not permitted if any member of the group is not a fully vaccinated adult and the gathering must be limited to the family group, plus a maximum of 10 guests. . Wedding and funeral receptions are prohibited.

Indoor events at venues — like Canucks games, concerts or the theater — are allowed at 50% capacity, and casinos can operate at 50% seated capacity.

For churches, capacity is capped at 50% if any member of the congregation is unvaccinated. Dancing in any indoor public place is prohibited unless you are in a dance class.

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The heaviest restriction in ordering premises serving food and alcoholic beverages is that any pub, bar or nightclub that does not sell ready meals cannot open. On Wednesday, Henry said that order would be amended to allow those businesses to offer prepared meals.

She said the government’s daily COVID surveillance report would also be changed, including removing the active cases statistic. Indeed, the daily case count is no longer accurate due to the government’s limited testing policy. Therefore, the number of active cases is also inaccurate. On Tuesday, health authorities tested only 9,275 people by PCR.

There are 893 people hospitalized due to or with COVID, of which 143 are being treated in intensive care. Eighteen people died from COVID on Tuesday.

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Sara H. Byrd