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Metro Vancouver residents express frustration at B.C.'s mask policy

"Why else have numbers spiked by [a] factor of 10 once the mask mandate was removed?" asked a local.
woman-face-mask-shopping
While the mask policy was lifted in B.C. on July 1, many people worried there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases following the decision. Photo: iStock/Getty Images

Do you still wear a mask in indoor settings?

While the mask policy was lifted in B.C. on July 1, many people worried there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases following the decision. 

Since the order was lifted, numerous locals expressed their experiences on social media. Several of them feel that the health and safety of businesses, employees and patrons are at risk due to the relaxed rules. 

Now, as cases have started to surge across the province, locals are raising concerns again that some restrictions should be reinstated province-wide. In particular, people are voicing their concerns about masks. 

Originally from Terrace, Crystal Mundy spent her adult life in Kelowna and moved to Edmonton in June for her final residency with Alberta Health Services. She told Vancouver Is Awesome in a July interview that she's been involved in several "COVID-related" projects through the pandemic. She's part of a group that runs the Safer Shopping Network — a directory of retail/service outlets that continue to require masks.

The hashtag #fireBonnie started to pick up steam on Twitter Monday (Aug. 9) night, with numerous Metro Vancouverites expressing their frustration with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's handling of the pandemic. 

Mundy took to the social media platform to state that she feels B.C.'s top doctor is "watching this happen all over again." 

Have a look at what some other locals had to say.

A couple of people noted, however, that the hashtag was "harmful" and won't solve the issues. 

Masks are optional in most of B.C.

Most new COVID-19 infections in B.C. continue to be in the Central Okanagan, and that is why it is only that part of B.C. that has a mask mandate for indoor public settings, according to Henry. 

In a daily press briefing on Aug. 6, the provincial officer stated: "In no way did we ever say that is not appropriate [to wear masks in public settings.] I have said repeatedly, and continue to say, 'People must, and should, wear masks in indoor public spaces, particularly when you're around people, if it's crowded indoor spaces, where we know this virus can be transmitted. That remains the recommendation that remains in place, that remains what people should be doing, and it is mandated in the Central Okanagan rate now."

Many businesses across the province continue to require that all customers wear masks, but because it is not a public health order, they have more explaining to do to customers for why they are requiring the measure. 

With files from Glen Korstrom.