BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau delivers her speech after being re-elected during a press conference at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau delivers her speech after being re-elected during a press conference at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. Greens call for a ‘targeted shutdown’ strategy, more COVID data as cases remain high

The party is also calling on the government to expand asymptomatic and rapid testing

As the third wave continues to surge through the province, B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the province to tighten rules once again.

The caucus released a series of recommendations Thursday (April 8) broken down into three categories. While B.C. is currently in the middle of a three-week “circuit breaker,” the Greens don’t believe that measure will do enough. COVID cases in B.C. have teetered around the 1,000 mark for days now, setting records for the entire pandemic.

The Greens are calling on the province to bring in a “clear and targeted shutdown strategy” for three weeks, on top of the circuit breaker measures. Currently, all indoor group fitness, indoor worship services and indoor dining in banned in B.C.

The Greens want the province to enforce non-essential travel restrictions, move school online for most students and provide more support to enable non-essential businesses to close.

The Greens are also calling on B.C. to resume daily COVID briefings, which have been reduced to twice weekly for months now, release data on weekends, extend media availabilities and use new way to target demographics that have not been following COVID rules.

The party is also calling on the government to expand asymptomatic and rapid testing in workplaces, schools, businesses and neighbourhoods, improve variants of concern and speed up vaccination efforts.

A recent preprint paper done by BC Centre for Disease Control scientists showed that publicly reported figures of variants of concern are lower than those captured by the PCR test. Scientists said they believed variants make up about 40 per cent of total cases, not the 20 or so per cent that health officials have publicly acknowledged.

Teachers’ union presidents in B.C.’s hardest hit Fraser Health region have called for a move to hybrid classes as well as more vaccines for teachers. BCCDC data shows that cases among children under the age of 15 have reached their highest rate since the pandemic began. Cases among teens aged 15 to 19 are also on the rise, with cases the week of March 21-27 rising from 86 to 138 per 100,000.

B.C. health officials are expected to provide an update on the province’s COVID-19 situation on Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Experts say COVID variants likely make up 40% of B.C.’s cases, double what officials have disclosed

READ MORE: Teachers’ union calls for Fraser Health K-3 mask mandate, more vaccines as cases rise in youths


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC GreenCoronavirus

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Pictured is Britany Bignham, a Cranbrook hairstylist who is one of 16 top stylists in the running for the Ultimate Stylist competition - an online international hair and beauty competition. She is pictured behind her chair at the Hair Mob. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook hairstylist vies for top prize in international competition

Britany Bingham is one of 16 finalists in the Ultimate Stylist competition

Kimberley RCMP detachment seeking information after female teenager grabbed by masked man.
Teenaged female grabbed by masked man on Kimberley trail

RCMP seeking witnesses or information

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read