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More COVID-19 restrictions will come if B.C. doesn't 'get with the program': Horgan

Last Updated Nov 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm PST

FILE -Premier John Horgan. (NEWS 1130)
Summary

'In the last two weeks, we've seen a dangerous increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the Lower Mainland': Horgan

Reducing social contacts, eliminating non-essential travel, and pausing indoor physical activities key as cases spike

Returning to near-lockdown situation B.C. saw in Spring is not off the table

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. could ramp up COVID-19-related restrictions if cases continue to grow exponentially, warns Premier John Horgan.

Speaking Monday for the first time since election results were finalized, Horgan says what happens next depends on British Columbians — particularly those in Metro Vancouver where new restrictions were announced this weekend — following the rules.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve seen a dangerous increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the Lower Mainland,” he says.

“We need to make sure that we keep essential services functioning, surgeries, schools, and others, operating as safely as possible. All of this is at jeopardy if we don’t continue working together, taking our responsibility to bring the case numbers down.”

The focus of new restrictions in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, and of the premier’s remarks, is the critical importance of reducing social contacts, eliminating non-essential travel, and pausing indoor physical activities.

“If we want to avoid the more onerous restrictions that are being imposed in other jurisdictions we need to take advantage of the opportunities to find safe ways to operate. It’s gonna require people to get with the program, and there’s a whole bunch of people who are not abiding by the minimalist rules we had in place.”

Returning to a shutdown of businesses is something the province wants to avoid, the premier says, but Horgan isn’t ruling it out.
“That’s the end result if we don’t start to see these numbers come down,” he says. “Our objective is to make sure that our economy can remain open.”

 

While stepping up restrictions for individuals on the Lower Mainland, Horgan says the province is also increasing workplace inspections — asking WorkSafe BC, public health, and bylaw officers to work together to make sure staff and customers at businesses are safe.

Last week, B.C. reported 589 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 425 on Thursday and 335 on Wednesday.

“If we want to get back to our envied position at the start of this pandemic we need to make sure we’re all working on this together. The challenges are grave, and they’re significant.”