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B.C. health minister says province will focus on ‘precise’ COVID restrictions

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says we likely won’t be seeing any sweeping, province-wide, COVID-19 restrictions.

With a surge in new cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, Dix told the Vista Radio newsroom that the province will be focused on where the virus is circulating most.

“If there are problems in a business, that business will have to close for a period of time, if there are problems in a community, there may be action taken, so you’re going to see a change from the approach that was taken for the first 18 months of the pandemic, where we’d use province-wide measures,” Dix said. “We’re now going to be focused more precise measures.”

Regional restrictions are currently in place in the Central Okanagan, which has become a COVID hotspot.

Interior Health, which has the lowest vaccination rate among BC’s health authorities, accounted for over half of the new cases announced today.

Dix added that being fully vaccinated is the ticket to avoiding getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

He said that from June 15th to July 15th, just four percent of new cases in B.C. were people with two doses of a vaccine.

“Four percent: one in every 25 cases. And most people are fully vaccinated so that’s a pretty good record. You get fully vaccinated and you get lots of protection. Not 100 percent protection, but lots of protection against COVID-19,” Dix said. 

He added that over that same time period, one person passed away who had been fully vaccinated, but that person was in their 90s.

Dix said the unvaccinated make up the overwhelming majority of COVID cases in B.C.

“What tends to happen is if, in a community, there are a lot of people in their 30s who are not vaccinated, and they hang out with other people in their 30s as we do, we hang out often with people their own age, then they become more susceptible to the transmission of COVID-19 and that’s something we’ve got to address.”

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