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Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Jan. 22, 2021.CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

British Columbia’s provincial health officer says the province isn’t at a point where restrictions can be lifted due to concerns about the potential for rapid spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says she understands the desire from B.C. residents to see restrictions lifted, such as the limit on social gatherings, but it can’t happen yet.

There are 395 more cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths.

Henry says B.C. has seen its rolling seven-day average of cases rise, and there’s potential to see rapid growth in the number of cases if residents “are not careful.”

On that front, B.C. is ramping its screening for variants of concern, with the aim to test 100 per cent of COVID-positive samples to see if they are likely variants that should be sent on for further testing.

Henry also spoke of the challenges she’s faced during the pandemic, including death threats and the impact they have had on her family and co-workers.

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