Restrictions on non-essential travel and mask-wearing are urged across B.C. as the Lower Mainland continues to set daily records for COVID-19 infection.
After reporting daily cases above 600 since Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said travel restrictions for the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions should followed province-wide and beyond.
“In addition to using our safety layers and avoiding socializing right now, I strongly encourage people to limit your travel as much as possible, and that is in all areas of the province,” Henry said in a pandemic briefing in Victoria Nov. 16. “We have asked for only essential travel to be considered to and from the areas where we are seeing most transmission in the communities, but I call upon people across the province.
“Now is not the time to travel for recreation or non-essential purposes, whether it’s from the Lower Mainland to the Island, whether it’s between the Interior and the North, whether it’s to and from other provinces in Canada.”
The B.C. government’s focus is on keeping schools and businesses operating as normally as possible, and protecting the health care system. As of Monday there were 11 new infection protocols in health care facilities, for a total of 52 active, 45 of those in long-term care facilities around B.C.
School and health care outbreaks often start with community exposure by a staff member, and Henry emphasized the need for proper precautions in businesses and other public spaces.
“Let’s remember that businesses are required to ensure the health and safety of their employees, and we have order that requires every business to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place to operate safely,” Henry said. “This is no different from a requirement to follow fire codes or meet sanitation requirements.”