Interior Health announces new measures to slow the rise in new COVID-19 cases
A steady rise in new COVID-19 cases has prompted BC Ministry of Health and Interior Health to expand restrictions not only to the Central Okanagan but the entire Interior Health region.
BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister, in conjunction with Interior Health, made the announcement Friday afternoon.
“While we are beginning to see cases in the central Okanagan slowly plateau, we are seeing more cases in other areas of Interior Health,” Interior Health president and CEO, Susan Brown said in a media release Friday.
Effective at midnight tonight within the Interior Health Region:
- • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people 12 years and older.
- • Low-intensity indoor group exercise is permitted to a maximum 10 people per class. High intensity indoor group exercise is not permitted.
- • Outdoor group exercise is permitted up to 50 people per class. Effective Monday, Aug. 23 at 8 a.m.
- • Gatherings in vacation rentals are limited to five guests or one additional household.
- • Indoor personal gatherings are limited to ten guests or one other household.
- • Outdoor personal gatherings (e.g. birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties) are limited to no more than 50 people.
- • Organized indoor gatherings (e.g. weddings, funerals, seated events) are limited to 50 people, and outdoors gatherings are limited to 100 people, both requiring a COVID-19 safety plan.
Interior Health said the previous orders for central Okanagan food and liquor establishments remain in place and will until the end of September and Interior Health experiences lower cases and higher vaccination rates.
“We are calling on all young adults to get your vaccine, especially those who work in jobs where you interact with the public,” Brown said.
“It is the most effective way to protect yourself and to reduce transmission in the community.”
Friday, BC Ministry of Health reported 663 new cases, with 274 in Interior Health region for a total of 3,504 active COVID-19 cases.
Interior Health said most people are being exposed at social gatherings, workplaces or in private households.
The delta variant is leading to faster transmission and more severe outcomes for younger people. Immunization remains the most effective prevention against COVID-19.
“The vast majority of our cases are in people who are unimmunized or partially immunized and in adults between 20-40 years old,” said Interior Health medical health officer, Dr. Rob Parker.
“For those who haven’t yet gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please get it now. Getting immunized will help keep our hospital beds open for treating people with other illnesses and needing surgery.”
The interval between first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses has decreased to 28 days for everyone. People can get vaccinated by dropping into any IH immunization clinic or by booking an appointment.
Pop-up clinics are being added in communities throughout the region.
All clinic locations and details area available here: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-immunization-clinics/
Testing continues to be available to anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. People can book an appointment online here or call 1.877.740.7747 between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.
How to get vaccinated People can get their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by dropping in to any IH immunization clinic or by making an appointment.
o make an appointment, register online by visiting the provincial website at: www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/, call 1-833-838-2323, or visit a Service BC office listed here, and then book an appointment. For a list of all Interior Health COVID-19 immunization clinics and other resources visit: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-vaccines/
To learn about B.C.’s Restart Plan and COVID-19 Immunization Plan, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid