British Columbia’s top doctor says she’s confident more COVID-19 restrictions can be lifted next week as planned due to dramatic declines in cases and because the person-to-person transmission rate has dropped.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says fewer infections reflect the power of vaccines, with nearly 73 per cent of eligible residents aged 12 and up having had their first shot.
Only about eight per cent of those 18 and over, however, have received both doses of a vaccine as the province pushes for more people to register for a second shot.
B.C. is set to enter Phase Two of its Restart Plan on June 15. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that more details about that transition will be revealed next Monday when Premier John Horgan joins Dix and Dr. Henry for a live press conference.
“We’ve done the right things and we want to keep going. As we look to next week and next month, we will keep progressing through this phase – bridging from a time of orders and restrictions to a time when we can safely spend time with others once again,” noted health officials.
Come Tuesday, the Province will be reallowing indoor and outdoor personal gatherings of up to 50 people, among other things.
A return to travel within the province, high-intensity indoor group exercise and team sports are also part of the next step, and Henry says increased contact is expected to cause a rise in manageable clusters of the virus.
B.C. has recorded 153 new cases and four more deaths, for a total of 1,729 fatalities.
On Vancouver Island, there are currently 49 active cases with 31 on the South Island, 10 on the Central Island and 8 on the North Island.
With files to the Canadian Press.