Interior Health COVID-19 capacity limit decision on day-to-day basis

Interior Health says possible lifting of regional capacity limits at venues at theatres and indoor stadiums is dependent on COVID-19 conditions.

File photo: The Revelstoke Forum crowd salutes the Grizzlies at the end of their 3-1 win against the Sicamous Eagles on Feb. 23, 2019. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

B.C. and Interior Health (IH) officials say they are still monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the IH region before deciding on possibly lifting regional capacity restrictions in the region.

Capacity limits and gatherings in theatres and stadiums were lifted in much of B.C. on Oct. 26, but regional restrictions remain in place in Interior Health.

In an Oct. 26 media conference, B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said that provincial officials had been working with Interior Health on the decision.

She said there are three main factors in a decision to lift limits: community transmission, vaccination rates, and impact on the health care system.

“We are looking at this on a day-to-day basis,” Henry said, adding that decisions could come “very soon,” alluding to the coming week.

However, she said that any decision would be dependent on the COVID-19 situation on the ground.

“If things continue on a good path,” Henry said, the decision could come within a week.

At the Oct. 26 media conference, B.C. officials said that a decision could come in a week, but did not elaborate on whether that would be a decision to lift capacity limits, or otherwise.

A complicating factor is impact on the IH healthcare system brought on by transfers of patients into the region from Northern Health.

Last week, Interior Health officials said more information would be available on Friday, Oct. 22, but that date came and went with no word from IH.

In a response to a follow up email on Oct. 25, an IH spokesperson said, “everything remains in place at this time.”

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of 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 or call/text him at 250-814-8710.