VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor has updated her public health orders as more employees return to their workplaces with COVID-19 infections dropping.

The Health Ministry says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has updated her workplace safety order, removing a requirement that employees be allowed to work from home, if possible, unless employers had an operational need for them on site.

It says all workplaces must still have COVID-19 safety plans in place and masks are still required in certain settings.

Hospitalizations in the province also continue a downward trend at 744 people in hospital Thursday, a slight drop from 762 the day before, while 120 people are in intensive care.

B.C. has recorded five more deaths linked to COVID-19 for a total of 2,781 fatalities.

There have been three new outbreaks in health-care facilities for a total of 32, two of them in hospitals and the rest in long-term care homes.

Just over 93 per cent of B.C. residents aged 12 and older have had their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 53.6 per cent have received a third dose.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press