B.C. health officer mandates those who coach children to get vaccinated

B.C. health officer mandates those who coach children to get vaccinated

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s top doctor has updated rules for adults supervising or coaching youth sports teams, saying they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the mandate is a reflection of the need to require vaccination in such settings, which are less structured than workplaces.

The new rules were posted on the provincial health officer’s website on Thursday.

Dix says the path is clear, that if you are supervising youth sports, you should be vaccinated.

RELATED: B.C. reports 114 new COVID-19 cases in Island Health region

He says he believes it’s absolutely the right decision under the circumstances.

B.C. reported 758 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the province inches closer to a 90 per cent vaccination rate for all eligible residents aged 12 and up.

The Health Ministry says 4,961 COVID-19 infections are active in the province, including 434 people in hospital with 155 in intensive care.

Ten more deaths were reported on Thursday, pushing the death toll to 2,147.

The ministry says 89.8 per cent of eligible residents have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 84.9 per cent have received their second dose.

The province says 33 outbreaks are active in health-care settings, mostly in long-term care and assisted living but also in six hospitals.

It says unvaccinated people accounted for about 58 per cent of COVID-19 cases diagnosed between Oct. 20 and 26, while people with one dose made up 6.5 per cent of cases and fully vaccinated people accounted for just over 35 per cent.

Dix says he expects everyone will follow the latest orders from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on supervising youth sports.

“This isn’t about enforcement or punishing anybody. This is about ensuring the safety of the activity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.

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