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B.C.’s COVID-19 social gathering restrictions to be extended until Feb. 5, 2021

Click to play video 'B.C. public health restrictions extended for another month as case curve trends upwards' B.C. public health restrictions extended for another month as case curve trends upwards
B.C. public health restrictions extended for another month as case curve trends upwards – Jan 7, 2021

B.C.’s ban on social gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until midnight on Feb. 5, 2021.

“Now is our time to stay the course,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

Read more: B.C. reports 761 new cases of COVID-19, highest one-day total since Dec. 13

“If further action is required we will take that,” Henry said, adding that if the numbers decrease then health orders might change.

“This virus doesn’t know that we haven’t seen our friends in months. It doesn’t know that it’s our grandmother’s birthday,” she said.

Henry is urging everyone to adhere to the guidelines and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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“There is without a doubt, brighter days ahead,” she said.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: B.C. health officials expected to extend social gathering restrictions' Coronavirus: B.C. health officials expected to extend social gathering restrictions
Coronavirus: B.C. health officials expected to extend social gathering restrictions – Jan 7, 2021

What does this mean for you?

Currently, all events and social gatherings remain suspended.

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This includes activities such as indoor and outdoor events, with the exception of drive-in and drop-off events.

Suspended events also include musical or theatre performances, galas, silent auctions and watching movies in theatres.

Funerals, weddings and baptisms can still be held with a maximum of 10 people attending, including the officiant. Receptions are not allowed, however.

Meetings, such as city council meetings and alcoholic anonymous meetings can still be held as long as COVID-19 guidelines are in place.

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Read more: After criticism, B.C. to provide more information about COVID-19 cases at care homes

Rental and home viewings are restricted to a maximum of six people if space allows.

In-person religious gatherings and worship services remain suspended.

Employers must make every effort to provide work from home options where possible.

Fitness centres, studios, gyms and exercise facilities are allowed to operate with safety guidelines in place, but high-intensity activities remain suspended.

Indoor and outdoor team sports for people 22 years of age and older are suspended.

All organized indoor and outdoor sports for people 21 years of age and younger must follow viaSport’s Return to Sport Phase 2 guidance.

There can be no travel for games or training unless the athlete’s home club is outside of their immediate community.

The vaccine rollout continues in B.C. with the plan to have half-a-million people vaccinated by the end of March.

So far, 41,064 people have been vaccinated in the province.

Read more: B.C. reports 761 new cases of COVID-19, highest one-day total since Dec. 13

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Click to play video 'B.C. officials report 625 new cases of COVID-19, 8 related deaths' B.C. officials report 625 new cases of COVID-19, 8 related deaths
B.C. officials report 625 new cases of COVID-19, 8 related deaths – Jan 6, 2021

Henry reported 761 new cases of the virus Thursday, along with eight more deaths bringing B.C.’s death toll to 970.

All of the fatalities were in long-term care.

Thursday’s reported case count was the highest one-day total of new cases since Dec. 13.

There were 6,349 active cases in the province, along with at least 8,849 people isolating due to possible exposure. That figure did not include the Northern Health region.

In addition, there are two more people who have contracted what is known as the U.K. variant of COVID-19, bringing the total number of people in B.C. to three.

—with files from Simon Little
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