British Columbians aged 12 and older are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sunday, in order to gain access to certain events and services. Photo: File

British Columbians aged 12 and older are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sunday, in order to gain access to certain events and services. Photo: File

Two dose vaccine requirements in B.C. for 12+ begin Sunday

The West Kootenay had a total of 107 cases from Oct. 3 to 9

The province is advising all British Columbians aged 12 years old and up that effective Sunday, Oct. 24, full vaccination and proof of status via the BC Vaccine Card will be required to access certain events, services and businesses.

The province says that on Monday, Oct. 25, more people will be able to come together at organized gatherings and events in parts of the province where vaccination rates are high.

Meaning, capacity limits to 50 per cent for inside organized events and gatherings will be revised to allow 100 per cent capacity in those settings where the BC Vaccine Card is in place and proof of vaccination status is checked for everyone aged 12 and older. Notably, Trail has one of the highest rates of vaccination (88 per cent) in the B.C. interior.

As well, on Monday, the requirement to remain seated at a table in restaurants and pubs will be lifted.

These changes apply to: indoor sporting events such as hockey or basketball games; indoor concerts, theatre, movie theatres, dance and symphony events; indoor organized events such as weddings and funeral receptions.

Indoor mask requirements, however, will remain in effect for all indoor gatherings and events.

As of press time Wednesday, 89.2 per cent (4,136,000) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 83.5 per cent (3,870,709) had received their second dose.

As far as impending vaccinations for very young children, B.C.’s top doctor says the province is not yet looking at requiring young ones to get doses against COVID-19 when the Pfizer shot is approved for that age group.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the comments in response to a question at a Tuesday press briefing.

“I don’t see, at this point, that mandatory vaccinations will be required for children,” Henry said. “This is not something that we’re considering at this point.”

Changes to vaccine requirements follow a fall of COVID-19 cases in Trail and Nelson.

Trail Local Health Area (LHA) which encompasses Rossland through to the Beaver Valley including district Areas A and B, led the region with 36 news cases the first week of October, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. That’s down from 74 the previous week.

Nelson LHA, which includes Salmo and parts of Slocan Valley, dropped from 31 cases the previous week, to seven new cases.

Arrow Lakes LHA also saw a decrease from 14 to eight new cases, while the Kootenay Lake area that includes Crawford Bay had no new cases for the second straight week.

COVID-19 cases did rise slightly in Creston (30), Castlegar (21) and Grand Forks (5).

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