Don’t expect British Columbia to enter Step 4 or loosen any additional COVID-19 restrictions anytime soon.
That’s the message from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who announced Friday that BC would be expanding its COVID-19 outbreak measures from the Central Okanagan to the entire Interior Health Region.
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She also took a moment to address BC’s progress through its COVID-19 restart plan, saying that it was something health officials are evaluating on an “ongoing basis.”
“We’re looking at what are the measures we need to take, what are the things that we can do, what are the patterns that we’re seeing with the virus strains that are circulating right now,” Henry explained.
“And as we know, the Delta strain is much more transmissible in a variety of different settings and also the time of year, we’re going into the fall again.”
When the province unveiled its COVID-19 restart plan in May, health officials said that the earliest date that BC could enter Step 4 would be September 7.
Henry stressed, however, that’s no longer the case, adding that more details would be available next week.
“I think she said. “I can tell you that it won’t be a surprise, we always said this would be the earliest and it’s very likely we won’t be seeing a move to any more loosening of restrictions in the near term but we’ll continue to watch cases.”
Henry, along with Health Minister Adrian Dix, stressed that while BC has met its immunization targets for Step 4, they aren’t seeing the low and steady COVID-19 case count or decrease in hospitalizations.
“It’s a very evolving situation as you know over the past couple of weeks, things have changed quite dramatically.”
Health officials are expected to give another COVID-19 update sometime next week.