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Northern Health COVID-19 positivity rate rises rapidly as B.C. begins three-week 'circuit breaker'

Regional rate reaches almost 16 per cent
Northern Health's COVID-19 positivity rate is sitting at almost 16 per cent.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in B.C., Northern Health is also seeing a major struggle. 

According to the most recent data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the authority's seven-day moving average for COVID-19 positivity rate currently sits at 15.9 per cent as of Sunday (March 28).

The province's rate has shot up to 9.7 per cent compared to recent weeks, which prompted health officials to announce a three-week 'circuit breaker' to try and slow down transmission as variants of concern also picking up at rapid speeds.

From now until April 19, indoor dining at all food and liquor-serving restaurants has been put on pause. However, outdoor patio dining, take-out and delivery services are still allowed.

Included in the amendment, Dr. Henry announced a halt on indoor adult group fitness activities, but individual or one-on-one activities may still take place, also noting that these kinds of settings 'amplify' the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, indoor worship services have also been suspended days after class variance was given to allow up to 50 people at a time.

"It's with a heavy heart that I say this, but I can not in all conscious, with the increase number of cases we're having, [...] allow these types of activities to happen right now," she said.

"Outdoor worship services may continue as we know it's much safer to have these kinds of activities outdoors."

Dr. Henry adds travel throughout B.C. must now be essential for medical or work-related reasons only.

"Social connection is important, and so is keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe," she said. 

"We all have a choice – to stay safe or put our loved ones, our friends and ourselves at risk, which is why non-essential activities need to be limited and need to be outside with the same small number of people. The sacrifices we make today will help all of us to get through this storm."

Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are also in double-digit percentages for COVID-19 positivity rates, coming in at 11.2 and 10.3 respectively.

Interior Health currently holds a 6.3 per cent positive return rate, while Island Health sits at five per cent.

- with files from Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters, and The Canadian Press