Province loosens restrictions on outdoor gatherings

B.C. government photo
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British Columbians will be able to gather outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, amended her public health order.

“This means your children can have a playdate with their friends over the March break, but with their same group of friends — and if they’re in school, the same group of friends they’re in a cohort with,” said Henry. She added no changes would be made to restrictions on indoor gatherings.

Liquor sales must stop at 8 p.m. on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), according to Henry. The reason for the rule is alcohol’s potential to loosen people’s inhibitions and increase of people transmitting the virus. 

Island Health

Island Health reported 42 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total number of active cases to 219. That number includes 112 in the central island region, up by two in the last 24 hours, along with 65 in the south and 42 in the north. No additional deaths were reported.

Seven people are hospitalized with the virus and one person is in ICU, according to the B.C. government’s COVID-19 dashboard. There were 1,002 COVID-19 tests completed in the past 24 hours.

The Oceanside local health area reported four COVID-19 cases between Feb. 28 and March 6, according to the BC CDC.

Province-wide

B.C. recorded 569 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths over the last 24 hours. There are 4,912 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, including 244 people in hospital and 68 in critical care.

The province has administered 366,791 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 87,009 second doses, according a joint statement by Henry and Adrian Dix, minister of health.

B.C. confirmed 11 new variant of concern (VOC) cases, bringing the total to 638, though only 89 are active, the statement said.

“This includes 588 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 36 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 14 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant,” it continues.

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