B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)

UPDATE: Central Okanagan health orders now expanded to entire Interior Health region

Dr. Bonnie Henry says displacement of people due to wildfires requires regional approach

Public health orders that have been in place in the Central Okanagan since July have now been expanded to the entire Interior Health region.

RELATED: Mask mandate returns to Central Okanagan, COVID-19 outbreak declared

In a press conference held Aug. 20, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that displacement due to wildfires in B.C.’s Interior has made it necessary to expand public health orders to the entire region.

Those orders include:

  • Mandatory masks in all indoor public spaces for people over the age of 12
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people
  • All high-intensity fitness classes suspended
  • Regular indoor fitness classes limited to 10 people

The province also discouraged non-essential travel to the Interior.

Henry said much of the transmission is occurring in unvaccinated people. The increase in COVID-19 cases in Interior Health has strained health resources in communities like Nelson, Vernon, Kamloops, Keremeos and the Thompson-Shuswap area.

RELATED: ‘The time is now’: Creston physician urges vaccination amid rising COVID infections

RELATED: ‘We can’t handle this many cases’: Trail doctor warns hospital ICU could be overrun by COVID-19

Cases are levelling off in the Central Okanagan at 100 to 150 cases per day, but other areas of Interior Health like East Kootenay, Kootenay-Boundary, North and South Okanagan and Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap are seeing increased case counts.

Across the province 83 per cent of eligible people, 12 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 74.3 per cent received their second dose.

As of Friday, there are 663 new cases of COVID-19, including seven epi-linked cases, for a total of 158,919 cases in the province.\There are 6,345 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 150,657 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 129 individuals are in hospital and 59 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There has been one new death related to COVID-19 in the Fraser Health Authority, for a total of 1,785.

The new/active cases include:

  • 162 new cases in Fraser Health
  • 135 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • 274 new cases in Interior Health
  • 38 new cases in Northern Health
  • 54 new cases in Island Health

There have been no new healthcare facility outbreaks for a current total of 11 active outbreaks across B.C.

One new workplace and the communal-living outbreak has been declared at Fort St. John – Site C in the Northern Health region.


@SchislerCole
cole.schisler@bpdigital.ca

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