BC's COVID-19 Restrictions Change As It Identifies Its First Case Of The Omicron Variant

"We must anticipate and plan for the worst."

Vancouver Editor
BC's COVID-19 Restrictions Change As It Identifies Its First Case Of The Omicron Variant

The restrictions in B.C. just changed after the first case of the Omicron variant in the province was found.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, confirmed that the first case of the variant in B.C. — which was first detected in South Africa — has been found.

Dr. Henry said that the person with the variant is in the Fraser Health authority and had "recently travelled and returned from Nigeria." They are now isolated.

She also confirmed that 204 other people in the province have recently been to places that are affected by the variant, and so have been sent for PCR testing and are now isolating.

"We are not seeing widespread transmission of this variant in B.C., yet," she added.

She did say that although there is much unknown about the variant, there are "some suggestions" that it might be more transmittable than other variants.

"We must anticipate and plan for the worst," Dr. Henry said.

With this, comes updated restrictions in place in some areas.

The current restrictions in Northern Health, including the closure of bars and nightclubs, gathering limitations, restaurants ending liquor service at 10 p.m., and no in-person worship services, remain in effect until January 31, 2022.

Worship services in all of B.C. have to be limited to 50% capacity if not everyone is fully vaccinated, starting Tuesday. Capacity can be at 100% if everyone is fully vaccinated.

Everyone five and older have to wear a mask in indoor spaces. This has been amended to include anyone attending worship services, except leaders if they are distanced. Masks can be removed during worship if you are eating or drinking.

Canada's travel restrictions are also being updated, due to the variant.

Narcity Surveys 📋

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.

Starting next week, the provincial government will no longer require Ontario businesses to take customers' contact tracing information, a staple COVID-19 rule that's been in place since the start of the pandemic.

On Thursday, the government announced in a press release that it will no longer require "most businesses" to collect patron information for contact tracing starting on January 31, 2022.

Keep Reading Show less

Many have been holding onto the hope that Omicron is the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the World Health Organization says that's probably not the case.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said at a meeting with the WHO's executive board that it should not be assumed that the world is "in the endgame."

Keep Reading Show less

COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates and other indicators in Toronto seem to be finally going somewhere other than up.

In a press conference on January 20, Toronto's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said new COVID-19 indicators provide "reason for cautious optimism" as Toronto seems to be following the province's recent decline in COVID-19 cases.

Keep Reading Show less

The B.C. government said that they are now treating COVID-19 more like the "common cold".

In a press conference on Friday, January 21, Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed how they are dealing with the ongoing pandemic, and surge of Omicron cases.

Keep Reading Show less