It’s official, the BC Vaccine Card requirement will be scrapped later this week meaning you’ll be able to enter restaurants, go to hockey games and attend a concert without needing to show your QR code and picture ID.
The BC Vaccine Card will no longer be required as of April 8 at 12:01 am.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the announcement, alongside Health Minister Adrian Dix, at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
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The BC Vaccine Card program was brought in last September, and was originally set to end in January, before being extended to June.
But because BC was able to improve its COVID-19 situation so quickly, health officials revised the end date. Henry calls it a balance of risk and benefit.
She also suggested that, like the mask mandate, some businesses will keep the vaccine card requirement in place.
On top of the BC Vaccine Card requirement being scrapped this Friday, businesses in BC will also be transitioning away from COVID-19 safety plans to communicable disease plans.
The post-secondary residence vaccine requirement will also be lifted.
Health officials are celebrating the current state of the pandemic in BC, even though there are some concerns that the province, and much of Canada is in a sixth wave.
Hospitalizations have also seen a bit of an uptick over recent weeks in the province, which health officials addressed, pointing to the fact that critical cases remain relatively low. Henry also suggested that the increase is “not surprising” due to factors like spring break.
Henry also stated that elderly people over the age of 80 are still the most vulnerable.
This obviously isn’t the end of COVID-19, and BC health officials aren’t trying to position this announcement that way, but they will be making some changes to the way BC reports on COVID, and how it analyzes the virus.
The daily COVID-19 updates that you’ve been used to seeing for so long will be shifting to a weekly report instead. BC will also be shifting away from how they typically reported on COVID-19 related deaths. Health officials will be linking lab data with vital stats data.
Essentially, if someone had a COVID-positive diagnosis within 30 days of death, it’ll be included in the weekly report. According to Henry, this means that deaths will likely be over-reported.
Ongoing surveillance will still be taking place, even though the BCCDC is no longer requiring residents to report positive test results.
Surveillance will come in the form of facility-based monitoring, through wastewater sampling and monitoring of healthcare visits, and through targeted serological surveillance. BC will also be doing population sentinel surveillance, and will still be conducting lab-based genetic sequencing.
Henry also encouraged folks who have yet to be vaccinated to get their shot.