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No easing of restrictions on social gatherings in B.C. just yet

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry takes reporters questions at an online news conference in Victoria, Feb. 8, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
February 25, 2021 - 1:43 PM

With 395 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. in the past 24 hours and the seven-day rolling average of new cases trending upwards, the restrictions on social gatherings in B.C. will continue into March.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made that point during her COVID-19 update today, Feb. 25.

“When we have confidence that they (new cases) are slowing in a sustained rate that is when we can ease these restriction,” Dr. Henry said. She hopes that will happen in March.

In addition, the number of people infected by each person who tests positive for the virus is also moving up so more than one person is infected for each new case detected.

Of the new cases, 24 were in the Interior Health region, 207 in the Fraser Health region, 86 in Vancouver Coastal, 37 on Vancouver Island and 41 in the Northern Health region.

There were 10 more deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,348.

There are 4,489 active cases in B.C. with 228 people in hospital, 62 of whom are in intensive care.

The new cases are happening more in the Lower Mainland and northern B.C. but have declined significantly in the Interior Health region.

So far 239,833 doses of vaccines have been administered. The vaccination program will ramp up significantly in March. Dr. Henry will provide details of how that will be done at a briefing Monday.

There have been 116 people who have tested positive for variants of concern, including 95 with the one that originated in the United Kingdom and another 26 with the South African variant.

Right now 75 to 80 per cent of the positive COVID-19 tests are analyzed for the variant each day. That will hit 100 per cent next week, Dr. Henry said.

The same things people are doing to avoid catching COVID-19 works for the variants of concern, she said.

Two people have tested positive for a variant first found in Nigeria but that is a variant of investigation since it’s not yet known if it spreads more easily or causes more severe illness.


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