Farmers' market able to sell non-food items again

Farmers' markets will be allowed to sell non-food items again this weekend, after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry changed the public health orders for the markets in B.C.

Markets will also be allowed to offer tables for people to eat at, although the same distancing requirements which apply to restaurants will be in effect, Henry said.

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"We know how important it is to have these community places to buy local food and have access to local art," she said.

A spokesperson for the Prince George Farmer's Market could not be reached for comment.

Henry announced the change during her daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine new cases of the disease were detected in the province on Thursday, none of which were in the Northern Health region.

The total number of cases in the north since the beginning of the pandemic remained at 63. The provincial total increased to 2,559.

However, only 241 active cases remained in the province, Henry said. Across the province 33 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, of which six were in intensive care.

The number of active cases and people hospitalized in the north was not provided, but on Wednesday the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported only two active cases in the Northern Health region, one of which was hospitalized and in intensive care.

Two more long-term care residents in the Fraser Health region died of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the province's death toll from the pandemic to 164. To date, no deaths in northern B.C. have been linked to COVID-19.

"We're a little more than a week into our restart program. We need to get comfortable with our Phase 2 before progressing," Henry said. "We will have a good idea of how we're doing by mid-June."

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