Bars and nightclubs hardest hit by new COVID restrictions in the Central Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bars and nightclubs hardest hit by new COVID restrictions in the Central Okanagan

Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.

A number of new health orders are being imposed on the Central Okanagan as 56 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. are in the region.

“Despite the measures that were announced July 28 we’re still seeing cases growing,” Provincial Health Office Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a news briefing today, Aug. 6.

The new rules are similar to the “circuit-breaker” rules put in place in the spring.

The new measures include the closure of bars and nightclubs effective today.

Outdoor personal gatherings are limited to 50 people while indoor gatherings go back to having only five people visit from one other household.

Organized seated indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people. Those rules won’t be imposed until Monday as it’s too late to cancel such events, Dr. Henry said.

Unvaccinated people should not attend events such as wedding or parties. Those who do attend should be masked and remain seated.

Restaurants go back to having limitations on indoor and outdoor seating, with only up to six people being able to dine together. They are not restricted to the same household. Earlier restrictions on wine tasting and craft breweries will also apply.

Serving alcohol, once again, has to end at 10 p.m.

Only five people are allowed on boats, houseboats or in vacation rentals.

Casinos can remain open under the strict guidelines now in place.

Indoor, low intensity fitness training can continue but high intensity activities are suspended.

It’s recommended that people avoid non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan and to do so only if vaccinated.

People at events need to keep track of who has attended.

Out of 89 local health areas in the province, about half of the new cases are in the Central Okanagan, Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

There are 31 people in hospital in the Interior Health region, with the majority being in Kelowna General Hospital.

Most of those infected are in the 20-40 age group and 80 per cent are the highly contagious Delta variant.

There is also increased spread amongst health care workers, which is increasing the strain on health care facilities and in the community, Dr. Sue Pollock, chief medical officer for Interior Health, said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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