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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
UPDATED: Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Oak Bay Police Department briefs for May 3 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Copper wire stolen after Oak Bay construction site targeted twice by thieves

Cop briefs include pair of impounded cars, swiped back medication

The Capital Regional District hopes to be a national leader in zero waste and the circular economy, but getting there will take curbing construction waste and addressing challenges brought on by the region’s growth. Pictured is the Hartland landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD aims to be zero waste national leader, reduce enough to curb landfill expansion

Capital Region will have to reduce major waste sources: construction, organics from apartments

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

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

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
North Vancouver Island Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program ready to relaunch

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety while providing marine safety net

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Most Read