With some faith groups continuing to hold in-person services, and the continuation of anti-mask rallies such as the one in Vancouver this past weekend, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry called such incidents “a slap in the face.”
It “does increase one’s outrage factor,” she said during a press conference this week. “Especially when there are people working day and night in our healthcare system caring for people with COVID, making sure that people are still getting their surgeries.”
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And while “‘people have a right to peaceful demonstration… this time of year it is more dangerous than it was before,” she added.
The flouting of restrictions both by those at rallies – as well as by some faith groups – “concerns me and it’s a misunderstanding of why we’re trying to put these restrictions in place,” she said. “These restrictions are about recognizing there are situations where this virus is spreading very rapidly.”
She stressed once again that health officials have seen that the virus can particularly be transmitted in setting where people come together indoors and congregate.
“Despite our best efforts, and measures we have had in place, we are now seeing that those [restrictions] are not enough,” she said. “Right now we are at a very challenging and risky time and we all have to take a step back and look at how we can support each other in a way that doesn’t put people at risk.”
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On Tuesday, BC health officials said 566 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in BC, bringing the provincially recorded total to 38,718.
There were also 16 COVID-19 related deaths reported, for a total of 543 deaths in British Columbia.