VICTORIA - British Columbia's provincial health officer has announced regional restrictions in an area that has seen a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among children as adult infections take off.
Join Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, for an update on COVID-19. https://t.co/ekCBPondOF— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) September 28, 2021
Dr. Bonnie Henry's order covers the eastern Fraser Valley in Hope, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Agassiz-Harrison.
She says private gatherings will be limited to five additional people or one additional household and to 10 people outdoors, unless everyone is vaccinated.
Organized events like weddings or conferences will be limited to 10 people, or 50 people outside, unless everyone is fully vaccinated, which can be verified on the province's vaccine passport.
Henry says hospital capacity in the area is being tested as surgeries are cancelled.
She says the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among children in British Columbia reflects lower vaccination rates in some communities.
Premier John Horgan said earlier Tuesday that the "pandemic of the unvaccinated" is putting pressure on the health-care system.
"If you have a friend who’s not vaccinated, encourage them to do so. If you have a family member who’s waiting for more data, tell them to look at those who are pleading with their family members to get vaccinated from ICU beds, not just here in British Columbia, but indeed around the world.”
It comes as school trustees in Vancouver voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks to be worn by students in kindergarten to Grade 3.
Mask mandates set by the provincial health officer exempt youngsters in primary grades from wearing masks in class, although intermediate and secondary school students, staff and visitors must be masked in classrooms and indoor areas.
The Vancouver School Board is the first in the province to mandate masks for the younger students.