B.C. tightens restrictions on bars and restaurants as new cases top 30 again

British Columbia health officials announced 34 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, in an unscheduled news conference called amid in a recent spike in cases.

It’s the fourth time in five days that 30 or more cases have been reported in 24 hours.

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she was amending her public health order on bars and restaurants response.

Under the new rules, all patrons must be seated, there can be no liquor self-service, no dance floors, and establishments must take new steps to reduce lineups and choke points.

There were no new deaths reported, but the number of active cases climbed by 19 to 285.

There were no new community outbreaks Wednesday, but Henry said the province was now tracking 70 cases related to recent exposures in Kelowna.

“As we all know the B.C. COVID-19 curve is trending in a direction we do not want to go, and that is upwards,” said Henry.

“We all need to take a step a back and look at the things we need to do to bend our curve back down.”

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Henry said as a result of the recent exposures, there were about 1,000 people across the province who are now self-isolating.

B.C. has now recorded a total of 3,362 cases of COVID-19, 21 of which are epi-linked.

Seventeen patients are in hospital with the virus, with three of them in critical care.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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