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Health Officials looking at phased approach to easing up COVID-19 restrictions

(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)

B.C. Health Officials say they are considering slowly easing restrictions in the coming weeks.

In a media briefing today, Doctor Bonnie Henry said she is looking at what that would look like — potentially allowing for small outdoor gatherings.

Discussion on Spring Break travel will occur this week, as well.

This comes as B.C. reports 1,462 cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, including 101 in Northern Health, and 79 in Interior Health.

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There have been a total of 84,569 COVID-19 cases in BC.

Breakdown by day:

Fri/Sat: +545 (+ 3 deaths)

Sat/Sun:  +532 (+4 deaths)

Sun/Mon: +385 (+4 deaths)

Of the total cases, there are 4,854 active infections and 240 in hospital.

66 people are in critical care.

11 people have died from COVID-19 over the last three days, for a total of 1391.

There was a new outbreak in Cottonwood Home in Kelowna, where the vaccine uptake was ‘very high’ according to Henry.

She notes some of the positive cases occurred in people who have received both doses of the vaccine.

Henry says this shows the vaccine alone is not enough to prevent outbreaks.

There are 18 active outbreaks in the healthcare system, including Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert and the Dawson Creek Hospital.

As Astrazeneca begins to arrive in the province, Henry says some of it will be going to Prince Rupert to deal with ongoing community spread.

It will also be sent to high-risk workplaces in the lower mainland.

So far, 333,327 doses of a vaccine have been given out, including 86,925-second doses.

Health Officials reported an additional 144 cases of a variant of concern over the weekend for a total of 394.

87 cases are considered active.

Henry says the source of transmission is unknown for about 25 percent of the VOC cases, leading health officials to believe community spread is occuring.

Northern Health remains without a variant case.

VOC breakdown by region

Fraser: 303

Vancouver Coastal: 74

Island: 6

Interior: 6

Regional breakdown:

Vancouver: 19,647 (+407)
Fraser: 49,448 (+802)
Vancouver Island: 2,582 (+72)
Interior: 7,633 (+79)
Northern: 4,506 (+102)
Residents of other countries: 159

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