Written by: Marco Ovies, Editor-in-Chief
In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new restrictions for the next two weeks. The orders will be put into effect starting Saturday, November 7 at 10 p.m. and are as follows:
- Ban on gatherings with anyone other than immediate household, regardless of size or physical distancing
- Ban on incoming or outgoing travel for sport
- Ban on indoor group activities such as yoga, spin classes, and group fitness classes (individual fitness activities remain unchanged)
- Ban on funerals or weddings with those outside of your household
- The suspension of all indoor sports that cannot maintain safe social distancing procedures
- All businesses will be required to participate in active, in-person screening for COVID-19
- Party busses and limos are shut down
“Provincial health orders are always a last resort, but right now these additional measures are needed,” Dr. Henry said. Minister of Health Adrian Dix added that, “We need to take urgent and focused action now to significantly bring down the rate of transmission across our two Metro Vancouver health authorities.”
There are currently no restrictions regarding schools, which Dr. Henry clarified that the province was focused on keeping open.
“Schools are one of the things we want to protect because we know how important it is for teachers, for students, [and] for families to have schools operating,” Dr. Henry said.
There is also a strong recommendation to freeze “non-essential” travel out of the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health Regions.
“The focus is on reducing transmission in our communities. What we have not seen is a lot of transmission events in schools. Schools are not amplifying this virus, they are merely reflecting what’s going on in the community.”
These new orders come after rising cases within BC with a recorded total of 589 new and confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, November 6 and 567 on Saturday, November 7.
At the time of writing, BC has reported a total of 18,714 with 3,741 active cases and 7,887 people who are under public health monitoring.