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

"We must anticipate and plan for the worst."

Western Canada 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.

    Morgan Leet
    Western Canada Editor
    Morgan Leet is the Western Canada Editor for Narcity Canada's Western Desk focused on interprovincial travel, and is based in Vancouver.
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