B.C. orders closure of nightclubs, banquet halls as COVID-19 cases rise

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  • To recruit an estimated 7,000 health-care workers

    The B.C. provincial government has ordered the closure of all nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls effective September 8, 2020.

    The move was in response to rising case of COVID-19 infections.

    In addition, liquor sales in all bars, pubs and restaurants were ordered to stop at 10 p.m.,  and these establishment must close at 11 p.m., unless providing a full meal service.

    The province also ordered restructions on music or other background sounds, such as from televisions in bars, lounges, pubs and restaurants. These must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.

    Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, announced the measures in a joint statement on September 8.

    On that day, Dix and Henry also provided case updates for four 24-hour reporting periods.

    In the first reporting period from September 4 to 5, there 123 new cases. From September 5 to 6, there 116 new cases. From September 6 to 7, there were 107 new cases, and in the last 24 hours before the update, there 83 new cases.

    This represents a total of 429 new cases, including 12 epi-linked cases, since the last report on September 4, for a total of 6,591 cases in British Columbia on September 8.

    On September 9, Dix and Henry announced 100 new cases, for a total of 6,691 cases in British Columbia.

    As of September 9, there are 1,378 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,101 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 5,086 people who tested positive have recovered.

    A total of 213 deaths have been recorded in B.C.

    Dix and Henry said this fall and winter will present two health challenges – the usual respiratory season as well as COVID-19.

    “What this means is that we have to put measures in place now to ensure our health-care centres, communities and all of us are ready for what may be ahead,” they said.

    Also on September 9, Premier John Horgan announced B.C.’s fall pandemic plan.

    The plan focuses on protecting vulnerable citizens and ensuring the health-care system has the necessary resources in place.

    B.C.is investing $1.6 billion in a fall and winter preparedness plan.

    “The actions we are taking today are a big step to help protect everyone in our province as we head into the fall, and in doing that, will also help lessen the impact the pandemic has had on our economy,” Horgan said.

    The Government of B.C. is dedicating $44.1 million to launch the Health Career Access Program and recruit an estimated 7,000 health-care workers in long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the province. The program will provide a path for approximately 3,000 applicants who may not previously have had health-care experience to receive on-the-job training. New hires in the program will start in a health-care support worker position and receive paid training that leads to full qualification as a health-care assistant.

    For more information on the Health Career Access Program, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/careersinhealth

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