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B.C. to reveal updated COVID pandemic response next week

Many COVID orders are set to expire next week
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discusses details about the latest restrictions announced around gatherings due to the surge of the COVID-19 variant Omicron during a press conference in Victoria on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Speaking at a news conference today, (Feb. 9), Dr. Bonnie Henry said details will be released next week about changes to public health orders on COVID-19 that are set to expire next week.

The gathering and events orders are coming up for review on Feb. 16 and the province will provide a detailed update on the orders on Feb. 15.

Henry said British Columbians can expect to hear less about the pandemic and more about how to manage personal risk. She noted that any easing of restrictions is owed to the protection offered by vaccines, particularly booster doses.

“Right now with the amount of transmission we’re seeing it is important to get that booster dose at six months.”

Henry was asked when the B.C. vaccine card program will end given that both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can become infected with Omicron and transmit the virus. She said that the program is intended as an incentive to get people vaccinated and reduce the likelihood of unvaccinated people ending up in hospital.

“The difference in spread between someone who is unvaccinated and someone who is vaccinated is sort of like saying Christine Sinclair and I both play soccer. There’s a qualitative difference to that and one of us may be a lot more likely to score a goal than the other.”

B.C. is set to lift the vaccine card program in June while Alberta and Saskatchewan are set to lift their vaccine passports imminently.

After the news conference concluded, the province sent out a news release updating rules for liquor-serving premises such as bars and nightclubs.

Bars and nightclubs can change their business model to provide full meal service — either in-house or through an agreement with a catering company. Businesses must maintain a record of the sale of meals and must cease full-meal service no more than three hours before ending liquor service.

READ MORE: All remaining B.C. health care workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by March 24


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