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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.
On Tuesday, June 1, B.C. health officials announced the encouraging news that for the first time since October, B.C.’s daily COVID case numbers have dropped below 200. Active cases of people infected with COVID (2,800) is the lowest since November. In addition, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to slowly decline, and many surgeries which had been cancelled due to hospital strain during third wave are now being rescheduled.
Many spirits have been lifted this week, along with a cautious easing of province-wide restrictions, and the release of a four-step restart plan to get B.C. back to some semblance of normal by the fall of 2021. This plan is based on the condition that case counts and hospitalizations around the province continue to decline and vaccination rates continue to increase.