B.C.’s COVID-19 case count has declined so far in 2021, as highest-risk people receive vaccinations. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s COVID-19 case count has declined so far in 2021, as highest-risk people receive vaccinations. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C. extends COVID-19 gathering restrictions as infections slow down

New cases of variants of concern increasing, Dr. Henry says

The B.C. government is extending its restrictions on gatherings through the rest of February as new variants of COVID-19 continue to show up.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday the tight restrictions on gatherings to household groups have to continue until B.C.’s vaccination supply picks up again. While COVID-19 infections have declined significantly in the Lower Mainland, Henry said a major concern is the increase in infections and hospitalization in the Northern and Interior Health regions.

Premier John Horgan said Friday the reduction in vaccine shipments from pharmaceutical makers Pfizer and Moderna was discussed on Thursday’s call with premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Shipments are down “for the next number of weeks” but Canada is still expecting to receive four million Pfizer doses and two million from Moderna by the end of March as specified in the contracts, he said.

“We’re going to amend our plan here in B.C. and other provinces will amend their plans, so when the flow of vaccine comes up again in a meaningful way, we’ll be able to start through the various phases that we announced a few weeks ago,” Horgan told CFAX radio in Victoria Feb. 5.

The plan announced in January is for registrations to begin in March for the largest mass vaccination in the province’s history. Starting in April with clinics set up in 172 communities using school gyms, arenas, community and church halls and convention centres, the target remains having four million people vaccinated by the end of September. Vaccinations are to be administered to people by age group, after those 80 and up have been offered protection along with other high-risk people.

RELATED: B.C.’s ‘mass vaccination’ expected to start in April

RELATED: Vaccine makers said no to producing in Canada


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

School District 8 is considering moving some programs out of Central School to make more room. Photo: Tyler Harper
SD8 considers moving Wildflower classes, REACH program out of Central School

The district says the building is set to operate over capacity in the fall

A emergency response team assisted the RCMP in apprehending a woman in Kaslo who was barricaded in her house on March 1. File photo
RCMP apprehend woman barricaded in Kaslo house

The woman had been writing threatening messages about taking hostages, police say

A byelection will be held on March 27 to fill the council seat vacated by Brittny Anderson, who is now the MLA for Nelson-Creston. File photo
Meet the Nelson byelection candidates at online forum

Event sponsored by Nelson at its Best will take place online March 11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read