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Gyms can reopen, but other restrictions remain

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:34 PST, Tue January 18, 2022

B.C. gyms can reopen as of Thursday (Jan. 20) with additional safety measures in place.

Capacity limits and the BC Vaccine Card must be enforced, with seven square metres between workout machines or people in a group class. Masks must be worn when not actively exercising, and they are encouraged even during exercise depending on what a person is doing. Instructors, personal trainers and staff must wear them at all times.

Other restrictions, including the closure of bars and nightclubs and 50 per cent capacity limit in theatres, stadiums and other venues, will remain in place through Feb. 16.

For more information about restrictions, click here.

“I think there’s a narrative around right now that Omicron is mild,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “We need to be very careful to dismiss this right now. It may be most people are not becoming seriously ill and ending up in hospital, but with the high rates of transmission there are still lots of people who do get seriously ill and even those people who aren’t in hospital, this is not an innocuous illness.”

She added that data shows up to this point, even with Omicron, about one in 10 people will have symptoms that last 12 weeks or longer.

Henry also stressed the importance of turning to credible sources, particularly when it comes to information about vaccines.

B.C. health officials reported 1,975 new cases of COVID-19 today. Since the pandemic began, B.C. has recorded 301,121 cases. A news release notes that the numbers of total and new cases are provisional due to a delayed data refresh and will be verified once confirmed. 

Of the new cases, 503 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 731 in the Fraser Health region, 175 in the Island Health region, 478 in the Interior Health region, 88 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There are 37,167 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 854 of those people are hospitalized, 112 of whom are in intensive care. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 95.1 per cent of the province’s hospital base beds are filled as well as 24.2 per cent of surge beds.

To date, 10,158,329 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.; 4,157,150 of those are second doses and 1,591,505 are third doses. 

This means that 92.8 per cent of adults, 92.4 per cent of people aged 12 and older and 89.3 per cent of people aged five and older have received their first dose of a vaccine. In addition, 90.1 per cent of adults, 89.7 per cent of those aged 12 and older and 83.4 per cent of those aged five and older have received two doses; 36.8 per cent of adults and 34.3 per cent of those aged 12-plus have received three doses.

Sadly, there were two new virus-related deaths reported today, bringing that total to 2,492. Both of the people who died lived in the Fraser Health region.

Health authorities reported nine new health-care facility outbreaks and declared six over. Active outbreaks continue at 44 long-term care facilities and nine acute care facilities.

From Jan. 10 to 16, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 24.9 per cent of cases.
From Jan. 3 to 16, they accounted for 32.3 per cent of hospitalizations.

Past week cases (Jan. 10 to 16)—Total 14,922

• Not vaccinated: 3,086 (20.7 per cent)

• Partially vaccinated: 629 (4.2 per cent)

• Fully vaccinated: 11,207 (75.1 per cent)

Past two weeks cases hospitalized (Jan. 3 to 16)—Total 796

• Not vaccinated: 215 (27.0 per cent)

• Partially vaccinated: 42 (5.3 per cent)

• Fully vaccinated: 539 (67.7 per cent)

Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Jan. 10 to 16)

• Not vaccinated: 412.5

• Partially vaccinated: 179.8

• Fully vaccinated: 318.1

Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Jan. 3 to 16)

• Not vaccinated: 52.3

• Partially vaccinated: 34.1

• Fully vaccinated: 11.6

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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