BC's restrictions on gatherings extended through Christmas and New Year's

Dec 8 2020, 12:12 am

BC’s restrictions on all community events and gatherings have been extended through Christmas and into the new year.

“We continue to have very high levels of community spread and transmission here in BC,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry during a press conference on Monday. “Hundreds of people remain in hospital, and tragically, far too many of these people have died.”

The order – which first came into effect in late November – includes gatherings at hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and cinemas. Popular seasonal events also fall under the restrictions.

Henry said that, effective immediately, she is extending provincial restrictions around public gatherings and events, and people visiting each other’s households, to midnight of January 8, 2021.

“I’m also extending my order of December 4, with respect to prohibiting all gatherings and events… to midnight of January 8, 2021,” she added.

She said the January 8 timeline was chosen because while officials are seeing “an impact” of the original orders, “it’s not yet at a point where we can let off on some of the restrictions that we have in place.”

The next incubation period for the virus, she furthered, “will take us to just a few days before the Christmas holidays… and we wanted people to recognize that this is something we’re going to need to stick with until into the new year.”

Over 2,000 new cases since Friday

Henry said on Monday there have been 2,020 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 38,152.

Broken down further, there were 647 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 726 from Saturday to Sunday, and 647 from Sunday to Monday.

By health region, this equates to 304 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,362 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 45 new cases in the Island Health region, 203 new cases in the Interior Health region, and 106 new cases in the Northern Health region.

There were also 35 more deaths over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 527.

There are currently 9,380 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 10,747 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Currently, 329 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 77 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Henry said that 27,287 individuals who tested positive have now recovered.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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