COVID-19 in B.C.: Dr. Henry maskless at B.C. Lions game; Interior Health restrictions; outbreak at Peace Arch Hospital

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      Judging from the response on social media, the biggest COVID-19 story in B.C. over the past 24 hours was the appearance of Dr. Bonnie Henry at the B.C. Lions season opener.

      Henry took the opportunity to urge B.C. Lions fans to get vaccinated. But it didn't go over as smoothly as government spin doctors might have liked.

      That's because a fair number of people on social media criticized B.C.'s provincial health officer for going maskless while she did selfies with the fans.

      Dr. Anna Wolak, who's with Masks for Canada, also criticized Henry in an interview with Liza Yuzda of News 1130. 

      Interior Health restrictions

      The province has extended COVID-19 restrictions from the Central Okanagan to the entire Interior Health region in response to the growing number of infections this week.

      It means everyone 12 years of age and older will have to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces. High-intensity fitness classes have been put on hold and low-intensity fitness classes can have no more than 10 people indoors.

      All outdoor events, including fitness, can have no more than 50 people in attendance.

      In addition, people are being discouraged from making non-essential trips to the Interior Health region. 

      Peace Arch Hospital outbreak

      Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Peace Arch Hospital.

      It came after two patients tested positive in a medicine unit, which is where the outbreak has been limited to.

      The emergency department remains open at Peace Arch Hospital and no other area has been impacted.

      All patients in the unit have been notified of the outbreak.

      B.C. case counts drop slightly

      The COVID-19 case counts levelled off today, with 663 new infections, according to the B.C. government. That was down from 689 new infections on August 19.

      The new/active cases include:

      • 162 new cases in Fraser Health
        • Total active cases: 1,169
      • 135 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
        • Total active cases: 1018
      • 274 new cases in Interior Health
        • Total active cases: 3,504
      • 38 new cases in Northern Health
        • Total active cases: 254
      • 54 new cases in Island Health
        • Total active cases: 391
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada
        • Total active cases: nine

      There are eight more people in hospital today, bringing the total to 129. And three more are in intensive care, bringing this total to 59.

      One more person has died in Fraser Health, bringing provincewide number of fatalities from COVID-19 to 1,785.

      There are 11 active outbreaks in the following health facilities:

      • long-term care: Heritage Village, Kin Village West Court, Evergreen Baptist Care Society (Fraser Health), Village at Mill Creek – second floor, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre and Brookhaven Care Centre (Interior Health)
      • acute care: none
      • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, Hawthorn Park and David Lloyd (Interior Health)

      There's also a new workplace and communal-living outbreak at Fort St. John–Site C in the Northern Health region.

      Among eligible adults in B.C., 83.8 percent have received their first dose and 75.5 percent have received their second dose. Among those eligible who are 12 and older, 83 percent have had a first dose and 74.3 percent have received a second dose.