As per the latest reports, the officials have announced that the British Columbians must now wear masks in all indoor public places, as part of the sweeping new measures to crack down on the province’s second wave of COVID-19.
On Thursday, Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry said that she has reportedly reversed her stance on the issue after having heard that the businesses were concerned about having to enforce certain guidelines on mask-wearing in a bid to slow and tame the spread of the infectious disease.
For instance, while referring to the wide list of places that are being included under the new rules such as grocery stores, shopping malls, and restaurants when not drinking or eating, Henry said that you name it, for the most part.
She further stated that the recent spike in transmission has not been between the workers and the public, but between the workers themselves in places like break rooms and the carpools.
She even said that this is one of those things that they have been doing quite reluctantly but right now they all are facing the concern as the transmission is happening even if it’s with the seemingly appropriate measures being taken in place. This is the measure that seems most appropriate right now, she added.
The province has also extended the November 7 ban on social gatherings in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal health regions to December and has even expanded it to the entire province.
According to the reports, all the British Columbians are now being asked to avoid non-essential travel and must have social gatherings only with those in their immediate household surrounding.
Henry said that it is okay to go for a walk outside with a friend, it is also okay for the grandparents to pick up the kids at school, it is even okay to fix the furnace at the mother’s house because those are not any social events.
Furthermore, people can now have their cleaning person to come over to their homes as the goal of these set measures is to reduce social measures.
Along with the board’s new orders, Henry even reported 538 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which is the fewest in 24 hours since November 11, as well as one new death count.
The other figures such as the count of hospitalizations have continued to hit a new high that is 217 people are in hospital with the disease while on the other hand, the number of active cases has reached 6929. This is not immediately what has brought about the drop in the overall new cases.
Moreover, the province has restricted community events that include all faith-based gatherings until December 7. Added to this, in-person religious services have been banned until then except for weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Those kinds of events are capped at 10 people. And, any gathering before or after these events such as receptions is not allowed.
The churches and other religious spaces can still be used for hosting self-help meetings and child care. The province is also pleading with the people to avoid all non-essential travel within the province with officials’ acknowledgment which is a further blow to the tour operators but urging the people to stay in their communities.
Henry added that the new orders shall not impact the hair salons and the restaurants, but the customers can only visit with people in their immediate households.
She added that this is a way to keep those businesses open and functioning safely. She said that she wants to remind everyone that the basic protection measures must always be maintained.
She went on to add that the province shall also work with WorkSafeBC to increase the enforcement at the businesses right away including the bars and the pubs, where safety guidelines are not being allowed.
Henry concluded that they shall shut them down in case they seem them becoming the area of transmission.