BC’s top doctor says Interior Health will join 100% capacity club ‘very soon’

Josh Duncan | October 26, 2021 in COVID-19

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Most of British Columbia moved to 100% capacity for fully-vaccinated settings like sporting events, concerts, movie theatres, weddings and conferences today.

However, some parts of the province remain under the old restrictions of 50% capacity, which includes Fraser Health East, Northern Health and Interior Health.

The announcement last week led to some confusion from Business Chambers, MLAs and sports teams in the IH region, who were looking for answers from the health authority.

Those answers did not come from IH, but today Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed the issue in her weekly COVID-19 briefing, saying that it’s a decision made together by her office and the chief medical officer in the Interior.

Henry gave a little hope for teams like the Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops Blazers, saying that things are starting to settle down in the Interior as the vaccination rates increase.

Photo Credit: NowMedia
The Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops Blazers will remain at 50% capacity for now, but that could change "very soon," said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We are looking at this on a day-to-day basis and I do believe it’s going to be settling within the next few days,” she explained.

“I hope that we will be able to lift restrictions and be able to get back to those important hockey games and other events safely very soon.”

BC’s top doctor said that there are a number of different factors that play into the decision.

The obvious ones are transmission in the community, as in where the virus is having an impact and who it is affecting, while another is vaccination rates.

“Where we are still seeing high rates of transmission and low rates of immunization, those are all things that are important and we take into account,” noted Henry.

The third major factor is the impact on the healthcare system, which is still being stressed across the Interior and particularly in the bigger markets of Kelowna and Kamloops.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that Interior Health is currently over 100% of base bed capacity and is relying on surge beds to accommodate the current load of patients.

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