Dr. Bonnie Henry rules out Kelowna-specific restrictions but new orders coming | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dr. Bonnie Henry rules out Kelowna-specific restrictions but new orders coming

Dr. Bonnie Henry
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
July 23, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Another 11 people in the Interior Health region have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 30 new cases throughout the province.

That is triggering new orders that will come out from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, probably tomorrow. They will impose tight restrictions on the number of people who can be together in places like hotel rooms, Airbnbs or houseboats.

“Today we know that over 1,000 people in every health authority across our province are self-isolating because they have been exposed to COVID-19,” Dr. Henry said during her COVID-19 update today, July 23. “A good proportion of those people were exposed at parties and events that have happened, over the past few weeks, in the Central Okanagan, particularly in and around Kelowna.

“These people in B.C. have had to close their businesses or miss work, isolate from their family and friends and not leave their homes unless it’s to get medical care. That’s the impact it is having on our friends and our families in British Columbia right now. It shows us that the actions of a few, even if inadvertent, can cause a considerable impact.”

She has consulted experts in the accommodation and rental industries to develop the new orders which will put the onus on the property owners to ensure the rules are obeyed. Not only will, for example, room occupancies be restricted but so will be the number of visitors.

Bylaw officers or health officials can be called if the rules are violated.

The orders will apply provincewide. She had mused about imposing regional restrictions but, she said today, she changed her mind after consulting with other health authorities.

“This is something that is an important issue across the province,” Dr. Henry said.

She noted that restaurants must restrict customers to six per table so people should use that as a guideline when they go on outings or have gatherings in their homes.

There have now been 3,392 B.C. residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 1,750 in the Fraser Health region, 1,051 in Vancouver Coastal, 315 in Interior Health, 142 on Vancouver Island, 77 in the Northern region and 57 non-residents.

One more long-term care home resident has died, bringing the total number of deaths in B.C. to 190.

There are currently 190 people who are sick with COVID-19. Of those, 16 are in hospital and three are in intensive care.

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