This comes as the province ramps up mass vaccinations while still dealing with an average of 539 new COVID-19 cases a day.

Premier John Horgan says he does not want to create false hope, but expects vaccinated British Columbians to have “more flexibility” than those not vaccinated.
This comes as the province ramps up mass vaccinations while still dealing with an average of 539 new COVID-19 cases a day.
So far 444,140 doses of vaccine have been distributed in B.C., including at least one dose for 357,047 British Columbians.
“As you know, there are no simple answers in this situation,” Horgan told a news conference on Thursday.
“Having said that, as more and more people are vaccinated, hundreds of thousands already with hundreds of thousands more to come, I think we will see a relaxing with some of the regulations, as we already have.”
The Centre for Disease Control in the United States has announced fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
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The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
British Columbia is not ready yet to put in place similar guidelines to the United States.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said she is working with other health officials across Canada to determine a national strategy on the issue.
Horgan acknowledged Henry would ultimately determine if activities are available to those that have been vaccinated before they are available to anyone else, such as visits at long-term care facilities or social gatherings in homes or public spaces.
“We will be making changes as more people get vaccinated. Those that have been vaccinated will have a bit more flexibility because they’re of less risk to the people around them, and the people are of less risk to them,” Horgan said.
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“It really isn’t as simple as, ‘I’ve had a vaccine so I can go and do whatever I want’ — it’s just not that simple. We need to make sure that we’re doing this in a methodical way. We’ve been doing that for 12 months and I see no reason to deviate from that just because we’re near the end of the race.”
A vast majority of those vaccinated in the province include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, vulnerable populations, and most recently, people 85 years of age and older along with workers connected to COVID-19 outbreaks.
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Interim BC Liberal leader Shirley Bond said Thursday it is irresponsible for Horgan to speculate on what some vaccinated people may be able to do over others.
“Talking about flexibility adds confusion who can do what and when,” Bond said.
“The number one issue should be supporting vaccination and making sure it is moving ahead as quickly as possible.”
– with files from the Associated Press
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