The B.C. Green Party is calling for stronger public health measures, including the return of mandatory masks, as a fourth wave of COVID-19 hits the province.
In addition to the return of mandatory masks, the Green Party is calling for safe school plans and vaccine certificates as a way to protect the health of British Columbians.
“We are asking for this government to implement further public health measures that will protect our communities from the Delta variant while allowing British Columbians to enjoy our province safely,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “We have a collective responsibility to protect and care for each other, and this government needs to lead the way. British Columbians want this pandemic to be over and some sense of normalcy to return to life, but we can’t get there without government leadership.”
On Wednesday, the B.C. Greens said they want government to adopt the following measures:
- Reinstate mandatory masks in all indoor public settings across the province
- Require all workers in healthcare, education, and public-facing government institutions to be fully vaccinated
- Develop guidance on the use of vaccine certificates for non-essential, public congregate activities (sporting events, concerts, bars, nightclubs, etc.)
The Greens also would like to see government dedicate capital funding to increased ventilation and improved air filtration in K-12 schools as well as reinstate contact tracing, smaller class sizes, and offer online options.
“In B.C. we currently have the second-highest rate of infection per capita in Canada. This fourth wave is disproportionately affecting those who are unvaccinated, and we have to remember those who aren’t able to get vaccinated include children under 12,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.
Lastly, the B.C. Greens are urging the provincial government to bring back daily reporting that provides detailed information on breakthrough cases of COVID-19, privately funded vs. publicly funded tests, the age of those hospitalized, and provide this data by Local Health Area.
British Columbia has seen a rise in daily COVID-19 case numbers in recent weeks, reporting 501 cases on Tuesday — 28 of those cases were located in the Island Health region.