B.C. reports 185 new COVID-19 cases as infections continue to rise in Interior Health region

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British Columbia health officials reported three COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, along with 185 new cases, the majority of which were in the Interior Health region.

More than 60 per cent of Wednesday’s cases were in Interior Health, which saw 113 infections. Thirty-five cases were reported in the Fraser Health region, 26 in Vancouver Coastal Health, two in Northern Health and eight in Island Health. There was one case involving someone who resides outside of Canada.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. revamps its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to target the unvaccinated'



9:01B.C. revamps its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to target the unvaccinated


B.C. revamps its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to target the unvaccinated

Earlier in the day, the province declared an outbreak in the Central Okanagan, which is part of Interior Health. The positivity rate in the region has spiked recently, up to 6.8 per cent as of Tuesday from 2.7 per cent a week ago.

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B.C. officials announce Central Okanagan restrictions following COVID-19 surge in Interior Health

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The three deaths — two people in their 60s and one in their 80s — bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,771.

Active cases in the province rose sharply to 909, an increase of 126 from Tuesday. More than 500 of the active cases in the province are in Interior Health.

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The number of people in hospital with the disease rose by three to 47, while the number of patients in intensive care declined by two to 20.

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B.C. officials announce Central Okanagan restrictions following COVID-19 surge in Interior Health

Health officials declared an outbreak in the Central Okanagan, which includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Peachland, Lake Country and local electoral areas.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said additional measures are needed in the Central Okanagan to curb a rise of COVID cases in the area. They include:

  • A regional order instituting a mask mandate for indoor public spaces to address the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Events should be organized outdoors and not indoors
  • Restaurants are back to Step 3, which means the maximum capacity of indoor venues has now been reduced
  • Bars, restaurants and nightclubs must have COVID-19 safety plans in place. Liquor service can remain at normal hours but people should not be socializing between tables.
  • Reducing the second-dose interval to four weeks, to get people vaccinated quicker
  • Discouraging non-essential travel to the region by people who are not yet fully vaccinated
  • Expanded availability of asymptomatic testing

The province said Wednesday that 80.9 per cent of people aged 12 and older have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 63.2 per cent have received two doses

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— with files from Richard Zussman and Doyle Potenteau

 

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