Interior Health has declared an outbreak in the Central Okanagan due to significant increases in COVID-19 cases and is placing COVID-19 measures.

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Effective last night (July 28th), Interior Health placed a regional mandatory mask order for all indoor public spaces in the Central Okanagan communities of Peachland, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Kelowna, and Lake Country. This applies to individuals over the age of 12.

People from outside of the Central Okanagan are discouraged from non-essential travel to the area for the duration of the outbreak unless they are fully vaccinated.

Interior Health says there will be continued enforcement of the Province’s Step 3 Restart Plan. When businesses in the Central Okanagan experience three or more COVID-19 cases, Interior Health medical health officers will have the option to follow up and issue a closure order. Interior Health says they will be working with municipal partners, Worksafe BC, and Interior Health environmental public health officers to support businesses in the Central Okanagan to maintain compliance with mandatory safety measures.

In addition, Interior Health says they will be providing additional pop-up vaccine clinics in Central Okanagan communities to make it easier to get vaccinated. Interior Health says over 95 per cent of cases in the area were among people not fully vaccinated.

Interior Health says these measures will remain in place for at least 14 days, and until the region experiences lower case and higher vaccination rates.

Files from Darin Bain, MyCaribooNow