VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – So much for B.C. being in a post-pandemic world as early as this summer.
As B.C. records 622 new COVID-19 cases and eight more deaths, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says concerns about a third wave mean you won’t be going to any concerts or seeing many tourists from other countries.
“Things like international travel, international gatherings, large festivals that have people coming from multiple places are not likely to happen this year. Cruise ships coming into B.C. are not going to happen this year either,” Henry said.
Earlier this month, Henry sparked speculation about life returning to “normal” when she suggested we could be in a “post-pandemic world” this summer.
Today, she SEEMS to be saying no to cruise ships, international tourism and concerts THIS YEAR. #bcpoli @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 18, 2021
“Whether it’s a conference or a meeting or a wedding or a family gathering, those things will be dangerous because we know that the vaccine is not available equally around the world. The risk anywhere is a risk everywhere, so we’re not immune to that,” Henry added.
Related article: B.C. frontline workers to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in April
Meanwhile, Health Minister Adrian Dix continues to promise that visitor restrictions at long-term care homes will be eased by the end of this month.
“Either next week or the latest by March 29,” Dix said on Thursday. “General rules around visitation [will be eased], given the success of our vaccination programs and you should expect that very soon.”
On Thursday, B.C. recorded 622 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the total to 90,049.
Eight more people have died of the virus, for a total of 1,419 deaths in B.C.
The province is also confirming 136 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern. Of the 1,132 total cases, 1,040 are the B.1.1.7 variant. Of the total cases, 143 are considered active.
BC #covid19 Mar 18
622 new-90049 total
Variant 136 new, 143 active#bcpoli @news1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) March 18, 2021
Henry says as long as daily new case numbers hover around 500, we should expect most public safety orders to stay in effect at least two more months.
On Thursday, the province also announced frontline workers — including first responders, K-12 teachers, child care staff, grocery store employees, and postal workers — will be given priority to a COVID-19 shot in April.
To date, more than 465,000 doses of vaccine have been administered, including 87,120 that are second doses.