BC health officials do not have any plans to reinstate the mask mandate which was lifted in early March.
Earlier this week, BC Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender wrote a letter to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, expressing concerns about the lifting of the mask mandate.
In the letter, Govender states that those who are most vulnerable would be the most impacted by the lifting of the mandate.
In a statement to Daily Hive, the BC Ministry of Health points to the province’s vaccination rate, along with the fact that hospitalizations and cases are trending downwards as potential reasons why people shouldn’t be concerned, but they acknowledge that some people are anxious.
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“Every decision we make is a balance between the need to have measures in place and the impact these measures can have on people, including people who are clinically vulnerable,” reads the statement from the ministry.
“We have been focused on people who are clinically vulnerable since the beginning of the pandemic and we will continue to be.”
They also acknowledge that people have the ability to make the decision to add that extra layer of protection should they choose to do so.
“People should make decisions based on their own comfort levels and risk factors, and other people need to be respectful of those decisions.”
Govender suggests that isn’t enough.
“Without the assurance that those they encounter in public spaces will be masked, many seniors and people with disabilities will feel they must isolate themselves from society or risk their health.”
As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, anything can change. If BC decides to reinstate the mask mandate, it wouldn’t be the first time health officials lifted the mask mandate before bringing it back.