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VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor has extended a COVID-19 order that will keep gyms and fitness centres closed before providing more details Tuesday.

That’s when restrictions were set to expire, but Dr. Bonnie Henry said last week that she believed COVID-19 hospitalizations were expected to spike after overall cases had peaked.

Restrictions on gatherings and events will stay in place, and Henry has now also directed school boards to collect information on the vaccination status of their staff.

The BC Teachers’ Federation said on Twitter that it was not consulted or notified ahead of time about the order.

The union said that is confusing because it has already agreed with the B.C. Public School Employers Association on a vaccine mandate process and would like school districts to implement them.

Henry’s orders on restrictions do not have an expiry date and they cite stress on the overburdened health-care system as it tries to accommodate unvaccinated people and the increased risk to the public due to the Omicron variant.

The Delta School District ordered last week that all staff show proof of vaccination within six weeks or they will have to undergo regular rapid testing or take an unpaid leave of absence.

B.C. is reporting 5,625 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days, with 819 people in hospital, 99 of them in intensive care.

It says over 77 per cent of those hospitalized were fully vaccinated.

The Health Ministry says 22 more people have died after becoming infected, for a total of 2,490 deaths.

It says 50 health-care facilities have ongoing outbreaks, mostly in long-term care homes.

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