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

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Hotel Zed Tofino. (Westerly file photo)
Two Tofino businesses up for building awards

14th annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read