On August 20, 2021, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, announced new COVID-19 health restrictions are being implemented across the entirety of the Interior Health (IH) Region in an effort to slow transmission rates of the virus.
In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in the province, with a majority of the cases happening within the IH region. Due to the ongoing wildfire situation throughout the interior of BC, several Evacuation Orders remain in place which has displaced many people from their homes who are now seeking assistance and accommodations in other communities.
Effective Midnight tonight (August 20), the Chief Medical Health Officer has implemented the following restrictions for the Interior Health Region:
- Masks are mandatory in all public indoor spaces for people aged 12+
- Indoor personal gatherings are limited to one other household, or five guests
- Outdoor personal gatherings (i.e., birthday parties and backyard BBQs) are limited to a maximum of 50 people
- Indoor organized gatherings are limited to a maximum of 50 people
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings need to have a COVID safety plan in place
- High intensity indoor fitness classes are suspended
- Indoor low intensity group classes are limited to a maximum of 10 people
- Outdoor group exercise classes are limited to a maximum of 50 people per class
- Avoid non-essential travel to and from the Interior Health Region, regardless of your immunization status
“We need to take a regional approach to account for the fact that people are being displaced and moving across and within the interior region,” said Dr. Henry during a news conference this afternoon. “The best thing you can do to help us get through these restrictions is to get vaccinated today and to encourage others that you know to do the same.”
The City of Vernon is currently working on the necessary arrangements to implement these changes and will provide more information as it becomes available. Recreation Services staff are also reviewing how the new restrictions will impact classes, programs and activities.