Vancouver Island Adds 3 COVID-19 Cases As British Columbia Announces New Restart Plans –

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Vancouver Island Adds 3 COVID-19 Cases As British Columbia Announces New Restart Plans – fr


VICTORIA – British Columbia health officials say three cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Vancouver Island area on Tuesday, as the province revealed its plan to ease restrictions over the next few years month.

Tuesday’s update marks the lowest number of new cases recorded in the island’s health region in a 24-hour period since Christmas Day 2020, according to the BC COVID-19 Dashboard.

The island’s new cases were among 289 cases found in the province in the past 24 hours. British Columbia has now recorded 142,636 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 5,018 on Vancouver Island.

There are currently 134 active cases of COVID-19 in the island region, including 11 people in hospital and three others in intensive care.

Island Health identified the locations of 93 active cases on Tuesday, including 30 in the South Island, 36 in the Central Island and 27 in the North Island.

Health officials say another person has died from COVID-19 in British Columbia, bringing the death toll from the pandemic in the province to 1,680. The death did not occur in the region of Vancouver Island, where 40 people have died during the pandemic.

British Columbia has now administered 2,927,487 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 148,580 second doses.

As of Tuesday, just over 64% of British Columbia’s adult population had received their first dose of the vaccine, health officials said.

British Columbia’s Four-Step Reopening Plan

On Tuesday, the government of British Columbia announced its intention to gradually reopen the province as cases of COVID-19 decline and more people receive vaccines.

Health officials say the province will reopen in four stages, with the final reopening phase looking like life before the pandemic.

The first phase begins today, May 25, and includes an easing of the circuit breaker restrictions that were put in place in April.

Indoor meals for up to six people have resumed and limited indoor religious gatherings may restart. Outdoor sports can also resume, as well as low intensity fitness classes. Residents of British Columbia can also invite up to five friends for social gatherings indoors at the house, and outdoor events for up to 50 people, such as weddings with wedding plans. COVID-19 security, can be arranged. Circuit breaker movement restrictions remain in place.

Stage two is expected to begin in mid-June, depending on cases and vaccination rates, which health officials say will be considered before transitioning to each new stage.

At least 65 percent of adults in British Columbia must be vaccinated before the start of the second stage, which includes larger indoor gatherings, such as audiences of up to 50 for theaters, as well as no restrictions to travel to British Columbia.

Stage three will begin in early July, assuming COVID-19 cases have stabilized or declined and at least 70% of the adult population has been vaccinated. This step will include reopening plans for nightclubs and limited capacity casinos.

The provincial state of emergency will also be lifted in step three, and more flexible restrictions will be in place for indoor dining and indoor social gatherings.

The last stage, the fourth stage, will start at the earliest in September. During this stage, British Columbians will be able to return to pre-pandemic levels of social contact and spectators will be able to resume sport. Businesses will also operate under new security plans.

A detailed overview of the province’s plans to reopen can be found here.

“We have been on a long, tiring journey, and now we can begin to chart a course for brighter days ahead,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Henry noted that the start dates for each “stage” are subject to change, depending on vaccination rates and cases.

BC’s top doctor says data, not dates, will inform when each step begins. However, she noted that the province is trying to give businesses and residents an estimate of when business can restart in British Columbia.

“It’s been over a year since we asked everyone to do their part by staying on the sidelines, and today we are starting to bring people together,” said BC Premier John Horgan.

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