(File photo)

In a press conference on Monday, the BC government announced a laundry list of new restrictions due to the current uptick in COVID-19 cases in the province.

As of midnight on Monday, March 29th, all students attending in-school classes in grades 4-12 in BC will be required to wear a face mask, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced.

The new restriction will be in place until at least April 19th, in hopes that the province sees a decline in positive cases of the virus.

This weekend, Island Health sent a letter to staff and parents of students warning that “significant” numbers of COVID-19 exposures in schools are expected in the coming weeks.

The letter came just as students on the Island were slated to return to school after a two-week long Spring Break.

“We are now seeing the number of children with coronavirus on the rise,” said Island Health in the statement.

Just prior to spring break, on March 15th, Island Health reported three COVID-19 exposure alerts in schools.

On Friday, a record 55 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Vancouver Island. Across BC, 908 new cases were added.

Today’s COVID-19 update from across 3 days saw 2,518 new in the province cases since Friday. 142 of these positive cases were in Island Health region.

Other restrictions announced today were the halting of indoor dining services, as well as indoor group fitness classes, and a retraction on the previously allowed religious group gatherings that officials offered last week.

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