New restrictions put in place in B.C. to combat high COVID-19 numbers

The chief medical health officer in British Columbia has announced new restrictions to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases in the province.

With COVID-19 cases averaging 500 cases a day, Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a new order that will last until at least Nov. 23, 2020.

“There are to be no social gatherings of any size with anyone other then your immediate household,” sad Henry. “Funerals and weddings may proceed with your immediate household but there are to be no associated receptions inside or outside your home or at any community-based venues.

“This is a time limited order but this is what we need to do now we need to stop our social connections where our social connections where are seeing this virus spread.”

This order also includes no travelling between Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health areas for non – essential purposes where the highest cases are being detected.

Premier John Horgan talked about some of these measures in his press conference Monday.

“In the last two weeks we’ve seen a dangerous increase in COVID-19 cases particularly in the Lower Mainland and we need to make sure we make essential services functioning, surgery, schools and others operating as safely as possible,” he said.

“All of this is at jeopardy if we don’t continue to working together each other taking our responsibility to bringing these cases down.”

The public health order also includes no gathering outdoors or play dates for kids, and immediate closures of spin classes, yoga, group fitness, dance classes and any other group indoor activity that increases the respiratory rate of an individual.

Indoor contact sports where physical distancing cannot be maintained are also suspended. This includes activities like boxing, martial arts, hockey, volleyball and basketball.

Read More: APTN News coverage of COVID-19

Dylan Steyns, owner of North Shore Academy of Dancing, said it’s going to be a challenge over the next few weeks as people adjust to the new order.

“About 50 per cent of our school dances a minimum of 15 hours a week that’s gone now right,” he said. “And is it going to be open in two more weeks? Tough to say tough to say but right now these kids are in shock just like me.”

Horgan added in his presser that just because the order is only in certain parts of B.C., that shouldn’t mean those living elsewhere should relax their safe practises.

“COVID is everywhere its in the north its in the interior its on Vancouver Island. So I don’t want people to think that because the order is focused on the areas where we’ve seen the largest number of cases Fraser and Coastal Health that that means that the island and interior do not have to be vigilant,” he said.

There have been a total of 18,714 cases detected in B.C. with 13,425 people having recovered as of Nov. 9,2020.

B.C. is not the only province to have announced new measure to try and combat the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister also announced new measures, moving the province to critical level red.

Starting Thursday Nov. 12, social gatherings of any kind will no longer be allowed. Social contact is also restricted to members of your household only.

Non-essential retail stores, gyms, movie theatres, salons and churches will close. Those stores deemed essential must limit capacity to 25 per cent.

All recreational facilities and sports activities will be shut down, travel to northern Manitoba is restricted, and non-essential travel is discouraged.

Schools and child-care centres will remain open. The restrictions will be in effect for at least four weeks.

Video Journalist / Vancouver

A proud Métis from BC, Tina began her television career in 1997 as a talent agent for film and TV. She joined APTN National News in 2007 as a Video Journalist in the Vancouver bureau. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Amnesty International Human Rights Journalism Award for her story on murdered and missing women and girls.