Yesterday, Interior Health announced that due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the central Okanagan, a regional mandatory mask order for all public indoor spaces will be effective Thursday July 29, 2021, at 12:00am. The order applies to individuals older than 12 years of age in the central Okanagan communities of Kelowna and Lake Country, Peachland, West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation.
Interior Health is also discouraging non-essential travel to and from central Okanagan for the duration of the outbreak unless fully vaccinated.
Additionally, Interior Health recommends to:
- Organize events outdoors rather than indoors, if possible
- Maintain physical distancing, hand cleaning, and staying home if you are sick
- Continue to set a maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings at 50 people or up to 50 percent of a venue’s total capacity
- Continue to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place for all events scheduled during this outbreak in the central Okanagan
There will be continued enforcement of the Province’s Step 3 Restart Plan including:
- When businesses in the central Okanagan experience three or more COVID-19 cases, Interior Health medical health officers will have the option to follow up and issue a closure order. Interior Health will be working with municipal partners, WorkSafe BC and Interior Health environmental public health officers to support businesses in the central Okanagan maintain compliance with mandatory safety measures.
In response to the announcement, the BC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Fiona Famulak, released the following statement:
“No community is immune to the effects of COVID-19 and the variants that continue to circulate in our province.
The BC Chamber of Commerce supports the announcement made by Interior Health and believes the measures will help curb the ongoing spread of COVID-19, rebuild consumer confidence and keep businesses open. While businesses work tirelessly to keep their employees, customers and patrons safe, we each have a role to play. We urge everyone to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, and to be kind and patient with one another as we each navigate Step 3 of BC’s Restart Plan at our own pace.”