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COVID-19 cases in Central Okanagan still trending upwards, Interior Health says

Vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Interior Health says it’s continuing to manage the COVID-19 outbreak that was declared last month in the Central Okanagan.

The health agency said that 1,690 people have tested positive for the virus since July 1, and that the numbers continue to rise.

On July 28, the province declared an outbreak in the region following a spike in daily cases, and issued several restrictions for the Central Okanagan, such as mandatory masks for indoor public spaces.

Read more: Four new COVID-19 deaths reported in Interior Health as case numbers rise

“Over 95 percent of COVID-19 cases related to this outbreak are among people not fully immunized and the majority are 40 years or younger,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown.

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Interior Health added its staff are also seeing exposures in health-care facilities, businesses, restaurants and social settings.

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“We are calling on everyone, especially people under 40, and anyone working in health care or the service sector, to get immunized. It is the most effective way to bring this outbreak under control,” said Interior Health interim chief medical health officer Dr. Sue Pollock.

“It is important for everyone, even people who may have been sick with COVID-19 earlier this year, to get immunized because the vaccine protects you against the different strains of the virus.”

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As a reminder, the restrictions also include:

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  • Masks remain mandatory for all people age 12 and older in indoor public areas
  • Only six people per table for indoor and outdoor dining
  • Liquor service is to stop at 10 p.m.
  • Casinos may remain open with a COVID-19 safety plan in place
  • Nightclubs and bars are closed, but establishments with full meal service may stay open
  • Indoor low-intensity group exercise is permitted with reduced capacity
  • Indoor high-intensity group exercise is not permitted
  • Gatherings in vacation rentals (including houseboats) are limited to five guests, plus the occupants
  • Outdoor personal gatherings (e.g. birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties) are limited to no more than 50 people
  • Indoor personal gatherings are limited to five guests or one other household
  • Indoor organized gatherings and outdoor organized gatherings (e.g., weddings, funerals, seated events) are limited to no more than 50 people with a COVID-19 safety plan in place
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Data from the BC Centre for Disease Control showed 187 new cases for all of Interior Health on Tuesday, Aug. 10. A day earlier, on Aug. 9, there were 182 cases, and 150 cases were reported on Sunday, Aug. 8.

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For reference, on Aug. 1, there were 122 cases, rising to 272 cases on Aug. 5.

Earlier this week, the province said it will reduce the interval between doses of COVID-19 vaccines from 49 days down to 28 days.

For a list of all regional immunization clinics and other resources, visit Interior Health’s website.

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