Boosting B.C.’s vaccination rate is one of the ways we can assist the province’s Restart plan. (File photo)

Boosting B.C.’s vaccination rate is one of the ways we can assist the province’s Restart plan. (File photo)

Column: How we can help to meet goals of B.C. Restart plan

Council Report by Mayor Alan Harrison

About a year ago, we visited our granddaughter.

So much has happened since that time.

We have learned how to physically distance. Masks have become part of our wardrobe. Virtual meetings have become common place and hand sanitizer is an essential commodity.

But, things are looking up!

• More than 3.5 million vaccine doses have been given in B.C. 500,000 of those were in Interior Health.

• In Salmon Arm, we are approaching 65 per cent of eligible adults having received their first vaccine.

• Positive case rates in the province, and our area, are trending down. Last week there were 0 positive cases in the Shuswap area, down from 4 and 13 in the previous two weeks.

• Second doses have started at our clinic, and the interval rate between first and second doses is estimated to be about eight weeks, down from the original 16 weeks.

• In the province, more than 50 per cent of youths ages 12 to 18 have registered for vaccination.

So, what now?

The provinces restart plan is just that, a plan. We can all help meet the goals of that plan.

The criteria that has been set to move the plan forward is based on positive case counts, hospitalizations and vaccination rates. For example, the July 1st benchmarks include 70 per cent of adults having received their first vaccine, low case counts and declining hospitalization numbers.

If benchmarks are met, things like fairs and festivals (with a safety plan), can resume. The group limit for dining will be lifted. Capacity numbers for gatherings like weddings and funerals will increase. Recreational travel in Canada will be permitted, and things like indoor fitness classes will be allowed to increase their numbers.

Continue to wear your mask in indoor public places. Observe physical distancing. Be sure to get your vaccinations.

Together we can do it.

We look forward to visiting our granddaughter again.

Alan Harrison is mayor of the City of Salmon Arm.

Read more: Return to offices up next in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Read more: B.C. COVID restart plan: Here’s who you can see, and where, as province reopens

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