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Dr. Bonnie Henry comments on why B.C. isn't implementing a mask mandate

Why isn't B.C. implementing a mask mandate along with the vaccine passport one?
People will be required to show a vaccine passport in B.C. at most recreational events starting in September 2021. However, there won't be a mask mandate. Photo: iStock/Getty Images

UPDATE AUG. 24: Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued a new provincial health order mandating masks be worn by everyone aged 12 and up in indoor public spaces. Read more HERE

People will be required to show proof of vaccination in B.C. at most recreational events and activities starting in September. But many of them won't be required to mask up — at least not for now.

When asked why health officials aren't implementing a B.C.-wide mask mandate as coronavirus cases continue to climb, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that fully immunized individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus. 

"We know that it is much, much less likely one to get infected and to transmit once you are immunized," she said. "But masking does play an important role in those areas where transmission in the community is high. We've seen that in the Interior."

Henry noted that health officials will continue to address the mask issue in the coming days. As the province heads into the fall season, she said they will discuss places that have seen high transmission across the province. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix added that it is "likely that we will not be moving to step four" on Sept.7, which is the earliest possible date that B.C. would have moved into the final step of the restart plan. 

Dr. Bonnie Henry comments on decision not to wear mask at BC Lions game

B.C.'s top doctor says she wore a mask when she went inside at the BC Lions game but the selfies she posed for were a "bit disconcerting." 

Many people expressed frustration with Henry after she made a surprise appearance at BC Place stadium for a football game on Aug. 19.

In a press briefing on Aug. 20, she told reporters that most people at the event wore masks when heading outside of the open-air stadium. The retractable stadium roof was also open, which made the game an outdoor rather than indoor event. 

Henry noted that everyone in the group she went with was fully vaccinated and that they were cordoned off in a private area, too.

Find out what else the health officer had to say concerning the mask issue.

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