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Gathering restrictions coming for Northern Health amid rising COVID cases

The restrictions come into effect on Sept. 7
Health officials are encouraging people across northern B.C. to get vaccinated as soon as possible. (File photo)

New public health orders limiting the size of personal gatherings are coming for northern B.C. as COVID-19 infections rise in the Northern Health Authority.

On Thursday, (Sept. 2), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that personal indoor gatherings will now be limited to one additional family or five guests. Outdoor personal gatherings will be limited to 50 guests and must include a COVID-19 safety plan. All indoor events must have a COVID-19 safety plan, as well as outdoor events with over 200 people and organized sporting events.

The new orders will come into effect on Sept. 7.

Henry said the new measures are aimed at targeting areas where COVID-19 transmission is occurring. She said much of the transmission in the north is coming from gatherings, not restaurants, fitness centres, or places of worship.

“We are confident that these steps will help us to contain transmission, reduce our case numbers, and reduce hospitalizations,” Henry said. “This is our chance to move along. We need to raise the alarm now.”

Communities like Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, Nechako and Prince George are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, particularly among unvaccinated people. Public health officials celebrated the high rates of vaccination in Kitimat, which has 93 per cent of people with at least one dose. Officials implored people in the north to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

On Thursday, Northern Health recorded 103 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total active case count to 553.

RELATED: B.C. COVID-19 drop-in vaccination clinics continue into September


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