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As the end of summer approaches active cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in B.C. Currently numbers are higher than they have been since the middle of May, and those infected are largely unvaccinated. As of today (Wednesday, August 25) it is once again mandatory for all people 12 years and older (regardless of vaccination status) to wear a mask in public indoor spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, August 4, B.C. Health Officials announced 342 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, which is the highest daily case count since May 27. The increase is being caused by the delta variant, which experts say is doubling the number of COVID-19 cases every seven to 10 days in our province. The delta variant is easier to catch and transmit, but the vaccines approved for use in Canada appear to prevent serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and death.
As the summer months stretch on, COVID case counts for the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation) remain at zero. At the same time, vaccination rates continue to slowly increase; however, there is still room for improvement. Local health officials are planning to offer more flexible options and pop-up clinics around the community in August to help make vaccines more accessible, and encourage eligible people to get vaccinated.
More than 78% of all adults in B.C. have now received their first dose of COVID vaccine and more than 30% have received their second dose. Because of this, and the continued decline of COVID-19 case counts, the province moved to Step 3 of its 4-Step restart plan on July 1. This ends the longest provincial state of emergency in B.C.’s history.
Yesterday (June 22) marked another milestone passed in B.C. as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that more than one million people in our province have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Provincially more than 77% of all adults and almost 76% of those 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID vaccine. In addition, more than 24% of all adults in B.C. and more than 22% of those 12 and older have received their second dose.
This week we tentatively move into Step 2 of the B.C. government’s Restart Plan, which includes the lifting of travel restrictions within B.C., outdoor personal gatherings up to 50 people, playdates and indoor visitors up to 5 people or one household. At least until July 1 the wearing of masks is still mandatory in public spaces, and health officials remind people to continue using layers of protection such as frequent handwashing, getting tested if any COVID symptoms arise, respecting personal space, etc.