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)

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
  • Indoor gatherings limited to 6 people
  • 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.

More to come…