(File photo)

(File photo)

EDITORIAL: Mandates necessary to slow spread of COVID-19

Many in Canada have been vaccinated, but some, for any number of reasons, remain unvaccinated

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, regulations are being added at the federal and provincial levels to slow the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new policy of mandatory vaccinations for employees in federally regulated workplaces. Vaccines are also mandatory for anyone wishing to board an airplane or a train.

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In British Columbia, health care workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This follows an earlier mandate requiring all long-term care and assisted living workers to be vaccinated.

Mask mandates and other measures are also in place in this province and across Canada.

Decisions to impose these mandates and restrictions are not made lightly. Instead, they are based on information and recommendations from qualified health-care professionals who are knowledgeable about disease transmission.

Various restrictions to slow the spread of this pandemic have been in place provincially and federally since March, 2020. Still, despite these efforts, the virus is still present and remains a concern. New variants of COVID-19 present new risks to the population.

At present, more than 190,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in British Columbia since the start of the pandemic. Roughly 2,000 people have died from this virus and there are around 6,000 active COVID-19 cases provincewide.

In addition, some of those who have recovered continue to live with long-term health effects as a result of this virus.

Across Canada, more than 1.6 million cases have been reported, and more than 28,000 people have died as a result of this pandemic.

Many in Canada have been vaccinated, but some, for any number of reasons, remain unvaccinated. This puts them and others at risk. According to information from Interior Health, those who are unvaccinated are 47 times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.

Put simply, COVID-19 is a serious matter and it must be treated as a condition with potentially fatal consequences. Vaccines, mask mandates and other measures are among the methods to slow the spread of this pandemic.

– Black Press

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