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Important to respect fellow community members

Advice from health care officials on handling lightened restrictions
B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that several provincial COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. (File photo/Lakes District News)

As of Feb. 16, the province announced a lifting of COVID-19 restrictions for things such as indoor and outdoor gatherings, indoor seated events, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as long as attendees wear masks and show proof of vaccination.

Though according to healthcare professionals, that doesn’t mean health and safety precautions should be thrown to the wind.

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“We want to move ahead slowly and cautiously and thoughtfully. We need to do this together to make sure that we’re respecting each other’s comfort levels as we move into this, and we build that confidence to come back together again in so many ways that we need,” B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said when publicly addressing the lightened restrictions.

“It means all of us continuing to be accountable to each other, managing our own risks and, equally important, protecting those around us. We are on track and we are progressing well. Let’s look to tomorrow with hope and know that optimism, that we can increasingly start living with this virus without it disrupting so many aspects of our life,” she continued.

READ MORE: Dancing back, gatherings uncapped: B.C. keeps masks, vaccine cards in COVID restriction update

Dr. Rakel Kling, Northern Interior Medical Health Officer, told Houston Today that there is still plenty of protection in place for those who feel uncomfortable about certain restrictions being lifted.

“I do understand that some people are nervous, and that’s okay, just certain restrictions have been lifted doesn’t mean you need to partake right away. It’s also important to remember that there are still a lot of layers of protection in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19 such as masks and vaccine cards,” she said.

It’s also important to be considerate of others and continue to take precautions by masking, washing hands, staying home when sick. These are all things that we can do to respect the community around us. I think these things are important regardless if an individual is vaccinated or not,” she continued.