Health minister Adrian Dix is pleading to those who aren’t yet vaccinated to get the jab.

This comes as COVID patients fill hospital beds across the province.

Dix says if all eligible people in B.C. were fully immunized, we’d be in a totally different situation right now.

He had a strong message for those who don’t want to get a vaccine.

“You need to take this seriously,” he said. “You need to take it seriously for your own health – someone passed away in their 20s in the north – you need to take care of that for your loved ones, for people in your community, for people in the province. It’s time to get vaccinated.”

As of yesterday, there were 378 people in hospital, province-wide, with COVID, including 153 in intensive care units (ICUs).

And, according to the health ministry, unvaccinated people have accounted for 70 percent of hospitalizations over the past two weeks.

Elsewhere, Dix and provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced new restrictions for the Northern Health region as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The restrictions are now in effect and will be in place until Nov. 19th, and may be extended if cases remain high or vaccinations remain low.

  • Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are restricted to fully vaccinated people, including at private residences and vacation accommodation
    • Indoor gathering: up to 5 people are permitted
    • Outdoor gathering: up to 25 people are permitted
  • All indoor and outdoor organized events require a safety plan and for attendees to wear a mask and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated
    • Indoor event: up to 50 people are permitted
    • Outdoor event: up to 100 people are permitted
  • Worship services: virtual services are required
  • Restaurants:
    • Fast-food restaurants and unlicensed cafés without table service can provide take-out only or require patrons to present the BC Vaccine card showing they are fully vaccinated.
    • Licensed establishments and those with table service must not serve alcohol between 10 pm-9 am and must require patrons to present the BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated.
  • Bars and nightclubs (no meal service) will be closed
  • Sport events spectators (indoor and outdoor) are limited to 50 percent capacity, must have a safety plan, and require attendees to wear masks and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinate.

Dix said these restrictions are in place to help mitigate the strain on the healthcare system in the north.

“We are under immense pressure in our facilities that is fueled by an unvaccinated population,” said Northern Health president and CEO, Cathy Ulrich.

“We continue to encourage all people age 12 and up to get immunized.”

58 people in the ICU have been transported out of Northern Health, 45 have the virus, only one was fully vaccinated.