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Home ยป BC takes next step in balanced plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions | BC Gov News – BC Gov News

BC takes next step in balanced plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions | BC Gov News – BC Gov News

Minister of Health and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs
Email: [email protected]
As people in B.C. continue to step up and become vaccinated in record numbers, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have decreased, leading the provincial health officer to lift additional public health orders.  
As of Friday, March 11, 2022, B.C.’s indoor mask order is being repealed along with eased restrictions on long-term care visitors, faith gatherings and overnight camps for children and youth. Today’s announcement also sets a pathway to lift additional COVID-19 restrictions, including the BC Vaccine Card requiring proof of vaccination, on April 8.              
“British Columbians have made tremendous sacrifices and worked hard to do their part over the past two years by following the advice and direction of Dr. Henry,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Thanks to high levels of vaccination, decreasing transmission enabled by British Columbians’ resolve and the public health orders we’ve had in place, we are now able to lift more restrictions and continue moving forward as a province.”
Effective March 11, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., the following changes will be made to public health orders:
Changes are also coming to B.C.’s long-term care facilities. By March 18, the number of visitors to long-term care facilities will no longer be restricted as long as visitors are fully vaccinated and screened. Some facilities will be able to implement these changes earlier. Visitors should check with their local care home. 
“Vaccines are the primary tool in our toolbox for managing COVID-19 in the long term and people have stepped up in a big way to get vaccinated, which has made a huge difference in creating high levels of immunity and protection across the province,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “As we move through this transition period and lift restrictions, we encourage people to respect the comfort levels of those around them.”
COVID-19 guidelines are being adjusted to advise that mask use is no longer required when K-12 students return from spring break. Dates for return from spring break vary by school district. Similarly, public health is working with the child care sector to revise guidelines. However, students and staff are supported to continue to use masks and other layers of protection based on their own comfort and risk factors.
Easing restrictions is based on ongoing and careful review of data by the provincial health officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). This includes a significant decrease in weekly hospital admissions (from 877 to 391) and 34% decrease in critical care admissions (from 121 to 80) in the past month.
In addition, effective April 8, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., the following changes will also be made to public health orders:
Vaccinations remain the primary layer of protection that has limited severe health outcomes from COVID-19. As of March 10, 2022, 93.3% (4,322,690) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 90.7% (4,204,895) received their second dose and 55.7% (2,580,562) have received a third dose.
B.C. has also increased the supply of rapid tests, helping people monitor and manage mild COVID-19 symptoms at home.
The Province, provincial health officer and the BCCDC will continue to monitor and provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. An update will be provided in the coming weeks about the daily information bulletin moving from daily to weekly reporting.
Learn More
For the March 10, 2022, presentation on the COVID-19 update and the easing of restrictions, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/COVID19_Presentation_22-03-10.pdf 
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