B.C. to provide COVID-19 update with new rules to fight Omicron spread | Globalnews.ca

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are expected to introduced new measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in a news conference on Friday afternoon.

The 1 p.m. PT news conference will be carried live on BC1, 980 CKNW, and here on the Global BC website, as cases continue to surge in the province and around the world.

On Wednesday, B.C. announced 753 new cases of COVID-19, more than doubling the number of new cases reported just one week ago.

Of those, 135 were the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Officials expect the number of Omicron cases to rise rapidly.

Read more:

Quebec, Ontario, P.E.I., introduce new measures to slow Omicron spread

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Click to play video: 'More restrictions are coming due to Omicron variant'

More restrictions are coming due to Omicron variant

More restrictions are coming due to Omicron variant

Quebec and Ontario have already announced significant new measures connected to the variant spread. Cases in those provinces are much higher than in B.C. so far, with Quebec reporting more than 3,500 new cases Friday.

Holiday gatherings in Quebec will be capped at 10 people, and capacity at restaurants, bars and movie theatres will be limited to 50 per cent. On Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers in an empty arena.

On Wednesday, the federal government issued an travel advisory against non-essential international travel.

Read more:

Canada advising against non-essential travel abroad as Omicron spreads worldwide

Click to play video: 'Small businesses brace for further restrictions and capacity limits'

Small businesses brace for further restrictions and capacity limits

Small businesses brace for further restrictions and capacity limits

Earlier this week, Henry indicated additional blanket restrictions for the holidays may not be needed, but has frequently advised people to spend time with people they know and whose vaccination status they are aware of. Henry has also encouraged people to keep personal gatherings small.

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“What I am telling people right now is to rethink what you are doing over the holidays in terms of having gatherings with people, particularly large social gatherings with people (for whom) you don’t know their vaccination status,” Henry said.

All week, health officials have been hinting at additional measures that could be taken especially around larger, organized events.

On Tuesday, Dix said they were looking at possible restrictions such as capacity limits at sporting events and changes to the vaccine card program.

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