B.C. expanding indoor public mask mandate to include ages five and up

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. is making a major change to its mask mandate for indoor public spaces.

Everyone in B.C. aged five and up will soon be required to wear face coverings in places such as malls, grocery stores, and libraries.

The move will align with the school mask mandate, which requires everyone from Kindergarten to Grade 12 to wear face coverings.

The province is set to announce a date for the policy change next week.

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The current mask policy came into effect in late August and requires face coverings in all indoor public spaces for people aged 12 and up.

People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others are exempt. The province notes a person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or due to a physical, cognitive, or mental impairment.

Masks are allowed to be removed temporarily to eat or drink, to prove your identity, if it’s necessary for personal or health services, or while taking part in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility.

B.C. records 743 COVID-19 cases, five deaths

The Fraser Health region once again recorded the most new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 265 of the 743 infections province-wide.

Northern Health recorded 196 new infections and Interior Health saw 143. Meanwhile, there were 70 new cases in Island Health and the remaining 69 were in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Five new COVID-related deaths were recorded in B.C. Friday, including three in Fraser Health. One person died in Interior Health and another passed away in Northern Health.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has fallen slightly from 373 to 360, but the ICU numbers have risen from 132 to 137.

The province says 82.2 per cent of British Columbians have received two vaccine doses, while 88.6 per cent have received at least one.

The percentage of fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19 is slowly rising. The province says 30.6 per cent of cases recorded between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 are among people who had received both doses.

From Sept. 23 to Oct. 6, 23.3 per cent of those hospitalized with the illness had been fully vaccinated.

There are now 17 active outbreaks:

Long-term care: Willingdon Care Centre, Westminster House, The Residence in Mission, Magnolia Gardens, Manoah Manor, Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, Cherington Place (Fraser Health); Cottonwoods Care Centre, Joseph Creek Care Village, Overlander, Village by the Station, Haven Hill Retirement Centre (Interior Health); and Wrinch Memorial Hospital (Northern Health).
Acute Care: Mission Memorial Hospital (Fraser Health); and University Hospital of Northern BC (Northern Health).
Assisted or Independent Living: Sunset Manor (Fraser Health); and Cooper Place (Vancouver Coastal Health).

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