BC health officials announce new restrictions for Northern Health region

Sep 2 2021, 10:41 pm

BC health officials have announced that new restrictions are on their way to Northern Health, and they are pointing to possible vaccine hesitancy as the reason, along with a major spike in COVID-19 cases.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who was joined by Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Jong Kim, Northern Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, suggested that vaccination rates in Northern Health are below what BC health officials consider ideal.

The new restrictions will primarily affect personal gatherings and will go into effect on Tuesday after the Labour Day long weekend.

Northern Health reported 103 new COVID-19 cases today. Comparatively, the region saw 61 new cases on August 27. The spike has alarmed health officials.

“This has really exploded quite quickly in a number of communities, and it spreads very quickly, and we know this from our past experience,” said Dr. Henry.

“I know this will be frustrating for some, and particularly in communities where we’ve not seen transmission for a while,” she added.

Personal gatherings in homes will now be restricted to either one additional family or a maximum of five guests.

Larger outdoor gatherings of 200 people or more will now require a COVID-19 safety plan to be in place.

These restrictions are in line with similar rules BC health officials imposed on Interior Health almost one month ago. But they are not as far-reaching, as health officials did not mention restaurants, nightclubs or casinos.

Northern Health serves approximately 300,000 residents and includes cities like Fort Nelson, Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, and Smithers.

More details on these new restrictions will be announced on Tuesday, September 7.

Dr. Henry also suggested that more details about the BC Vaccine Card are expected on the same day.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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