Northern Health is introducing new public health orders to manage the increase of COVID-19 activity in areas of low vaccination rates and higher COVID-19 case rates, which includes the District of Vanderhoof.
The Delta variant has caused significant increases in cases, faster transmission, and more severe outcomes for people in communities with lower vaccination rates. With a large unvaccinated population, these orders will provide additional protection in areas of Northern BC that have been hit the hardest.
“Hospitals in Northern Health are overstretched as beds become filled with COVID-19 patients, primarily unvaccinated. People needing critical care are being transferred to other regions of the province. Everyone needs to get immunized to help keep our hospitals open for treating people with other illnesses,” said Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Jong Kim. “Until more people make the choice to get vaccinated, we need to ensure we have orders in place to protect the most vulnerable and limit the spread.”
Effective at midnight Thursday, October 14, 2021, the entire Northern Health region, (with the exception of Local Health areas west of Kitiwanga: Terrace, Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Stikine, Telegraph Creek, Snow Country and Nisga’a) are under the following additional orders:
- Keeping personal gatherings small, both indoor and outdoor, and restricting to fully vaccinated people. This includes private residences and vacation accommodations.
- Indoor gathering: up to 5 people
- Outdoor gathering: up to 25 people are permitted
- All indoor and outdoor organized events require a safety plan, and attendees to wear a mask and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated.
- Indoor event: up to 50 people are permitted
- Outdoor event: up to 100 people are permitted
- Worship services: virtual services are required
- Fast-food restaurants and unlicensed cafés without table service can provide take-out only. Patrons must present the BC Vaccine card showing they are fully vaccinated to use indoor dining.
- Licensed establishments and those with table service must not serve alcohol between 10:00 pm-9:00 am and must require patrons to present the BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated.
- Bars and nightclubs (no meal service) will be closed.
- Sport events spectators (indoor and outdoor) are limited to 50% capacity, must have a safety plan, and require attendees to wear masks and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated.
These measures will remain in place until November 19 at midnight and may be subject to extension if cases remain high, and vaccination rates remain low.
In addition to these measures, people are strongly recommended to stay in their own community.
People can get their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by dropping into any Northern Health immunization clinic or by making an appointment.
To make an appointment, register online by visiting the provincial website at: www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/, call 1‑833‑838‑2323, or visit a Service BC office listed here, and then book an appointment.
For a list of all Northern Health COVID-19 immunization clinics and other resources visit: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/covid-19-immunization-clinics