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COVID-19 in Canada: B.C. removing mandatory masking as of July 1 in next step of reopening – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced Tuesday that as of Thursday, July 1 the province will move into Step 3 of restart plan.

“British Columbians have stepped up at every stage throughout this pandemic,” a statement from Horgan reads. “We’ve helped our neighbours stay safe, we’ve sacrificed time with friends and family and we have diligently registered to get vaccinated.”

“We’ve now reached a point in our vaccination efforts when we can begin to remove restrictions. Let’s continue to respect everyone’s comfort level as we safely take another step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”

Step 3 marks the end of the provincial state of emergency but B.C.’s public health emergency will remain in effect.

Mask-wearing will not be mandatory in this next reopening step but masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.

“That doesn’t mean that mask wearing is not important, it certainly is,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer said.

“We have done a great job of decreasing transmission in the province. When transmission is low and immunization is high, even with a single dose of vaccine, our protection is high enough that we no longer need some of the restrictive measures.”

B.C. is also welcoming individuals from other provinces or territories with the return of Canada-wide recreational travel.

“We welcome Canadians back to B.C. provide you’ve had those two vaccinations, provided that you check before you arrive to make sure that where aren’t local restrictions in place,” Dr. Henry said.

Other loosened restriction coming to B.C. on July 1 include:

  • Return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings

  • Maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or up to 50 per cent of a venue’s total capacity (whichever is greater)

  • Maximum capacity for outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or up to 50 per cent of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater

  • Return to normal for fairs, festivals and trade shows, with communicable disease plans

  • Reopening of casinos, with reduced capacity and ~50 per cent of gaming stations permitted to open

  • Reopening of nightclubs, with up to 10 people seated at tables, no socializing between tables and no dancing

  • Return to normal hours for liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by venue and no socializing between tables

  • Return to normal for sports and exercise facilities, with communicable disease plans

  • Mask wearing recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated

Dr. Henry added that there is no need for people to provide proof of vaccination.

“We know that most people in British Columbia are doing the right thing and we expect that will continue,” she said.

Over 78 per cent of adults in B.C. have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 30 per cent have received two doses.

People in B.C. have been sharing their thoughts on the move to loosen restrictions.

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Ottawa Public Health will take vaccines to businesses and groups to increase coverage – Ottawa Citizen

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Community organizations, faith leaders and employers who have a group of people who may benefit from a mobile clinic are asked to contact OPH at 613-691-5505.

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In an effort to reach people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health is preparing to send mobile vaccination teams to workplaces, places of worship and community groups on request.

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The program is intended to help reduce barriers for people who have not yet received the vaccine “by working with community leaders to provide comfortable, convenient and easily accessible options for vaccination,” the city said in a release. “This is just one more initiative to help ensure that anyone 12 years of age and older in Ottawa who wants the COVID-19 vaccine can get vaccinated.”

Sixty-six per cent of Ottawa residents over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated and 83 per cent have received at least one dose.

But the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said this week that the more transmissible Delta variant will continue to threaten the province until 90 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

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While Ottawa leads the province when it comes to vaccination rates of teens between 12 and 17, many health experts have said the final 10-20 per cent of the population will be the hardest to vaccinate because of barriers and hesitancy.

The Ottawa mobile vaccination program announced Thursday aims to address that.

Community organizations, faith leaders and employers who have a group of people who may benefit from a mobile clinic are asked to contact OPH at 613-691-5505.

There are still many appointments available through the provincial booking site (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ ) for anyone who wants a vaccine. Many pharmacies and family physicians also have vaccines available.

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B.C. sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in a month – The Globe and Mail

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British Columbia’s COVID-19 cases are creeping up again with the province reporting the highest numbers in a month.

Health officials reported 89 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, figures last seen in mid-June.

In a news release, officials say the total number of active infections in B.C. is 781 and there have been no new deaths.

There are 53 people are in hospital with 15 in intensive care.

Health officials say there are two outbreaks in the Fraser Health region, in an acute care facility and a long-term home.

Officials say more than 80 per cent of those eligible have received their first vaccine dose, while 57 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

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Vancouver Islands adds 3 new COVID-19 cases | CTV News – CTV News VI

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VICTORIA —
B.C. health officials have identified three new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Thursday.

The cases were among 89 new cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.

There are currently 781 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, including 18 active cases in the Island Health region, according to the Ministry of Health.

Island Health identified the locations of 17 active cases Thursday, including 12 in the South Island, three in the Central Island and two in the North Island.

Since the pandemic began, 148,730 cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the province, including 5,203 found in the Vancouver Island region.

No new deaths related to the disease were reported in B.C. over the past 24 hours.

Since the pandemic began, 1,763 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., including 41 people in the Island Health region.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, there are currently two people in hospital for treatment of the disease in the Island Health region, but no one in critical care.

As of Thursday, 80.2 per cent of people aged 12 and older had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in B.C., while 56.9 per cent of eligible people had received two doses.

In total, B.C. has administered 6,361,627 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier Thursday, Island Health announced that a new “Vax Van” would be making stops across the island to offer first-dose vaccinations.

Details on the Vax Van, including its upcoming schedule, can be found here.

Backstory:

CTV News Vancouver Island reports the daily COVID-19 case counts as reported by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, which are based on BCCDC data. There may be a discrepancy between the daily case counts reported by the BCCDC and Island Health.

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