“In the last two weeks, we have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and outbreaks in health-care facilities centred primarily in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions.
“These are the result of transmission in people’s homes and in many workplaces, including food processing facilities, retail locations, public venues, as well as with indoor group physical activities.
“The goal of our COVID-19 response is to maintain capacity within our health-care system, to protect those who are most vulnerable and to keep as much as possible going in our communities.
“We need to keep essential services and essential activities open and operating safely. This is now in jeopardy. As a result, we must now take further action to step back from our restart activities in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, to avoid potentially serious consequences for all of us.
“Today, new provincial health officer orders have been put in place for all individuals, places of work and businesses across the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, with the exception of Hope, the central coast and the Bella Coola Valley.
“The orders are in effect starting today, Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. through to Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at 3 p.m.
“Right now, it is very important that everyone in these regions significantly reduces their social interactions.
“The orders focus on three areas: social gatherings, group physical activities and workplaces, and are outlined in the following backgrounder.
“We are putting measures in place to better protect people who participate in group physical activities and we are also requiring all businesses and worksites to revisit and ensure strict adherence to their COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We appreciate this takes sustained daily effort and sacrifice, but these actions are critical to us keeping businesses open and communities safe over the winter months.
“In support of this new order, active inspections are being increased and businesses that do not comply will be subject to fines, and/or ordered to close, until a refreshed safety plan and commitment to comply are established.
“Finally, we are strongly recommending travel into and out of these regions be limited to essential travel only and people within the regions stay within their local community, as much as possible. We ask those who live outside of the regions not to visit unless it is essential.
“Provincial health officer orders are always a last resort, and these additional measures are required right now.
– Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer