COVID-19 case count prompts updated bar regulations

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In announcing 34 new cases of COVID-19 today, BC health officials updated regulations for bars and restaurants.

“The BC COVID-19 curve is trending in a direction we do not want to go, and that is upwards,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Of the 34 new cases announced today, three are epi-linked. ‘Epi-linked’ means that public health investigations have shown that cases meet the case definition for COVID-19 but may not have been tested for a number of reasons.

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There were no new deaths, healthcare outbreaks or community outbreaks. Over 70 cases are now related to multiple community exposures in and around Kelowna.

Additionally, close to 1,000 people are now self-isolating because they are contacts of those positive cases. By keeping bubbles small, Henry said, the jobs of health teams conducting contract tracing becomes simpler.

Henry also provided some additional information about outdoor gatherings.

“If you are in a crowded location, being outside is not enough,” she said. “We know that (COVID-19) can be transmitted when you’re having close conversations, talking, laughing with large numbers of people, even if it is outside.”

Choose a quiet spot and make an effort to keep a distance between your group and other groups, said Henry.

New restaurant and bar restrictions aim to target recent outbreaks related to these locations.

“We’ve always said we’ll adjust and manage as we go,” said Henry of the new changes.

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Patrons will be required to sit in designated seats, and there will be no liquor self-service or dance floors. Businesses should work to reduce line-ups, gathering areas and choke points.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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