COVID-19 measures and restrictions are back in place for Interior Health as cases surge.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says they have been seeing a steady rate of increase throughout the entire Interior Health authority, primarily in people who have not been vaccinated.
“This has been a particular challenge as we are dealing with displacement of peoples across the Interior Health region due to the ongoing wildfire situation,” Henry says, “it has strained health resources in a number of communities across Interior Health, particularly Nelson, but also places like Vernon, Kamloops, Keremeos, and into the Thompson, Cariboo, Shuswap areas.”
Dr. Henry announced that measures would be re-instated for the whole Interior region, as cases are continuing to rise across the region. She says this approach is accounting for the fact that people are being displaced in the Interior.
Effective midnight tonight (Friday), the following Health Orders are in place:
- Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people 12 years of age and older.
- Indoor personal gatherings are limited to 5 guests or one other household.
- Outdoor personal gatherings are limited to 50 people.
- Indoor organized gatherings are limited to 50 people.
- Indoor and Outdoor gatherings will need to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
- High-intensity indoor fitness classes are suspended, low-intensity classes will have a maximum of 10 people, outdoor group exercise classes will have a limit of 50 people.
In addition, Dr. Henry strongly recommended people avoid non-essential travel to and from the Interior, regardless of immunization status.
“We understand this news will be disheartening for people living in this area, who are not only living with the challenges of the pandemic but also with the challenges of wildfire and smoke,” Dr. Henry says, “I think the positive news is we have seen the levelling-off of the transmission in the Central Okanagan where these measures have been in place.”
On Friday, 274 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Interior Health, bringing the total in the region to 3,504.