COVID Spikes In B.C.: New Rules For Bars, Nightclubs and Banquet Halls

429 new cases over the weekend in BC.

Photo credit: @9_fingers_ via Twenty20

[This story originally appeared on The North Coast Review, a blog based in Prince Rupert that contains “items of interest to those living on the North Coast of BC.”]

Post Labour Day delivered a stream of troubling news for provincial officials and the ongoing effort to contain COVID-19, with nearly 430 cases recorded over four days, serving as evidence of the need to reverse some previous openings to try to stop the ongoing surge of case counts and the rising curve.

As of September 9th, the positive test rate for COVID in B.C. is now 3.56%, the highest number since April 21st.

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Public Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix delivered the statistical overview and the news on changes to public gatherings as part of Tuesday’s information session:

“Today, we are providing case updates for four 24-hour reporting periods. In the first reporting period from Sept. 4 to 5 we had 123 new cases. Sept. 5 to 6, we had 116 new cases. Sept. 6 to 7 we had 107 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 83 new cases. 

This represents a total of 429 new cases, including 12 epi-linked cases, since we reported on Friday, for a total of 6,591 cases in British Columbia. There are 1,386 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,063 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 4,978 people who tested positive have recovered. Currently, 32 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 12 of whom are in intensive care. 

The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.” 

The Provincial Health Authority counts looked as follows after the four days of the Labour Day weekend break: 2,249 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 3,428 in the Fraser Health region, 184 in the Island Health region, 460 in the Interior Health region, 186 in the Northern Health region, that makes for a spike of 12 cases across the North over the last four days. 

Eighty-four (84) cases of COVID were reported among people who reside outside of Canada. 

Dr. Henry and the Minister also relayed news of two new deaths related to COVID over the weekend.

“There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 213 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to reinforcing the previously noted themes on the return to school, the public health officials amended a range of orders on bars, nightclubs and banquet halls.

“We need to ensure our public health teams are able to take care of everyone in British Columbia in the weeks and months ahead. As a result, the provincial health officer’s order on bars, nightclubs and banquet halls has been amended. 

Effective today, all nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls are ordered closed until further notice. Liquor sales in all bars, pubs and restaurants must cease at 10 p.m. and they must close at 11 p.m., unless providing a full meal service, in which case they may stay open, but may not serve liquor until 11 a.m. the following day. 

Music or other background sounds, such as from televisions in bars, lounges, pubs and restaurants, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation. 

Now is the time for all of us to go back to our smaller, safer social interactions, especially if our households are increasing our interactions in other ways. This is the balance that we all need to find if we are going to weather the storm of the respiratory season ahead that will inevitably create added complexities for all of us. 

Let’s use this time to close the gaps that have emerged, recommit to keeping our wall strong and protect ourselves and those around us.”

B.C. Ministry of Health

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