COVID-19 in B.C.: 58 people transferred out of the North, including 45 with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed that one person in their 20s died in the North from the virus

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      B.C.'s provincial health officer has announced far stricter measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in northern B.C.

      It comes on the same day that Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed that a person in their 20s died from the virus in northern B.C.

      According to Henry, unvaccinated people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are getting very sick from the Delta variant.

      The measures take effect at midnight on October 14 and include a ban on unvaccinated people attending personal gatherings indoors and outdoors.

      Those who are unvaccinated are only allowed to spend time with people in their household.

      There will be a limit of five people at personal indoor gatherings as long as everyone is vaccinated and a limit of 25 fully vaccinated people at personal outdoor gatherings.

      This order will only apply to communities in Northern Health east of Kitwanga where vaccination rates are lower.

      Health Minister Adrian Dix described the situation in the North as "an enormous challenge" not only for the region, but for the entire province.

      "Fifty-eight people have been transferred by plane out of the North to hospitals either in Island Health, in the majority, or in Metro Vancouver."

      Of the 58, 45 had COVID-19. All but one of the COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated.

      Kitwanga is at the junction of Highway 37 and Highway 16 in northwestern B.C.

      Henry also said that organized indoor and outdoor events require a COVID-19 safety plan. Everyone at these events will have to be masked and can only gain entry if they have a B.C. Vaccine Card.

      Indoor organized events cannot have more than 50 people in the North; outdoor organized events can have a capacity of 100.

      In addition, Henry said that worship services can only take place virtually. Bars in the Northern Health region east of Kitwanga have to close and restaurants cannot serve alcohol after 10 p.m.

      These measures will remain in place until November 19, according to Henry.

      Dix emphasized that the province is going to do everything it can to help people in the North cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

      He pointed out that all of the patients who've been transferred are very ill. And not all of them had COVID-19, but they had to be moved because there wasn't space in the local hospitals.

      "It is a powerful and profound thing—something we would not wish on anybody," Dix said.

      There were another 129 new cases of COVID-19 in Northern Health over the past 24 hours, lifting the total of active cases in this region to 677.

      Across B.C., there were 580 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 5,348.

      Of those, 378 are in hospital and 153 of them are in intensive care.

      There were nine deaths linked to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the provincewide total to 2,042 since the pandemic began.