To address rising COVID-19 case counts and keep people safe, the provincial health officer is issuing revised orders, which take effect on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.
Measures will extend to Jan. 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:
The provincial health officer is also emphasizing the need for retail stores to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for holiday and Boxing Day sales.
“These measures will help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the ones we care about,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Slowing the spread and keeping each other safe is a cause in which we are all connected. It’s that togetherness that will get all of us through the next days and weeks.”
B.C.’s COVID-19 case rate has nearly doubled over the past week. So far, there have been 135 cases of the Omicron variant of concern identified in B.C., with numbers expected to rise rapidly. While public health continues to monitor the impacts of Omicron, including severity of illness and hospitalizations, the recommendation is to take a cautious approach at this time.
“While vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, we are now dealing with the new threat of a more transmissible variant,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We need to take these measures until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the B.C. context. It is imperative people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season. However, there are many things we can now do safely with reasonable and prudent measures like wearing a mask, staying home when sick, getting tested and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.”
In addition to the provincial health officer orders, British Columbians are advised to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to ensure proper ventilation indoors, to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated and to follow the travel advisory issued by the federal government to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.
The updated orders will be enacted under the Public Health Act.
For the provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:
For regional restrictions by health authority, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions
Latest modelling: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/12.14.21_PHO_modelling.pdf
To register to be vaccinated, visit:
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children: gov.bc.ca/vaccineforkids
To learn about the BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html
Detailed data is posted daily on the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
The latest updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/. Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
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