B.C. government extends COVID restrictions across Interior Health, including Revelstoke

COVID-19 restrictions in place in the Central Okanagan have now been extended to all of Interior Health as the delta-driven fourth wave continues its rapid rise in the region. Indoor masking now required in public spaces.

File photo: Downtown Revelstoke on Aug. 17 after the wildfire smoke cleared. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

The B.C. government is extending COVID-19 restrictions in place in the Central Okanagan to all of Interior Health, including Revelstoke.

The announcement came on Aug. 20, following rapid rise in case rates in the region.

“It is the important thing that will get us through this increase,” Dr. Henry said of the new restrictions in the Aug. 20 press conference.

Here is a list of the new restrictions announced for all areas of Interior Health on Aug. 20:

New COVID restrictions for all of Interior Health

This section has been updated to reflect current information listed by Interior Health.

Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people 12 years and older.
• Low-intensity indoor group exercise is permitted to a maximum 10 people per class. High-
intensity indoor group exercise is not permitted.

• Outdoor group exercise is permitted up to 50 people per class.
Effective Monday, Aug. 23 at 8 a.m.:
• Gatherings in vacation rentals are limited to five guests or one additional household.

• Indoor personal gatherings are limited to five guests or one other household.

• Outdoor personal gatherings (e.g. birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties) are limited to
no more than 50 people.

• Organized indoor gatherings (e.g. weddings, funerals, seated events) are limited to 50 people, and
outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, both requiring a COVID-19 safety plan.

The previous orders for central Okanagan food and liquor establishments remain in place.

These measures will remain in place until the end of September and Interior Health experiences lower cases and higher vaccination rates.

Dr. Henry defends her maskless selfies at BC Lions game

Meanwhile on Twitter, Dr. Bonnie Henry came under intense criticism for appearing maskless at a BC Lions game on Aug. 19, even posting for selfies with the public, one pair who said, “No masks!” while shooting the selfie with her. Dr. Henry.

When confronted on whether this sent mixed messages to the public, Henry defended her decision, saying she was following the rules.

“There was no need for us to wear a mask in that large open area,” Henry said. “I think overall it was a really positive experience.”

“They were a distance from me. There was no close contact,” Henry said.

PHO equivocates on ‘decoupling’ question

In previous appearances, Dr. Henry asserted the cases and hospitalizations were “decoupling,” meaning while infections are increasing, the number of hospitalizations are not following suit due to protection provided by inoculation.

The question came following an analysis by the BC COVID Modelling Group that crunched  the available data and showed that is not the case.

“For the most part we are not seeing that dramatic increase in hospitalizations,” Henry said.

No update on schools, post-secondary plans

Despite statements last week from provincial health authorities that they would update on back to school plans this week, it didn’t happen. Health minister Adrian Dix said the plans will be presented next week.

The latest on confirmed cases in Revelstoke

Revelstoke had 33 confirmed cases in the most recent epi-week up to Aug. 14. From Aug. 18, details here:

Revelstoke jumps to 33 new COVID cases in latest week

More on the rapidly rising case rates in Revelstoke and region

Check here for details on the rapid rise of case rates in the region. From Aug. 17:

Revelstoke COVID case rate continues to rise rapidly, doubles in a week

Update: Sept. 2

This story was updated on Sept. 2 to reflect current health restriction information listed by Interior Health. We believe a previous list included items that may not apply here, such as table limits.

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of revelstokemountaineer.com and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have aaron@revelstokemountaineer.com or call/text him at 250-814-8710.