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BC 'Circuit Breaker' Comes Into Effect In The North To Control 'Significant Situation'

Most of northern B.C. will enter a five-week "circuit breaker" in an attempt to control a growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said that effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 15 through November 19, personal gatherings indoors and outdoors will be limited to vaccinated people only.

Those who are unvaccinated, or live with people who are unvaccinated, must remain in their households.

There are greater restrictions for fully vaccinated people too. Indoor gatherings are capped at five people and outdoor settings are a maximum of 25 people.

Organized events, such as weddings, are capped at 50 indoors and 100 outdoors and must only be attended by fully vaccinated people. Venues will require a COVID-19 safety plan.

Restaurants can continue to offer service but alcohol service will be stopped at 10 p.m. Nightclubs and bars with no food service will now be closed. Religious services must be virtual only.

Why is the circuit breaker being brought in?

Adrian Dix, minister of health, said parts of northern B.C. are currently experiencing a "significant situation."

In the region, 58 people, 45 of which have COVID-19, have been transferred by plane out of the north to hospitals in the Island Health Region and Metro Vancouver as critical care beds in hospitals have become overwhelmed.

A young person in their 20s has died from COVID-19 on Thursday, October 14, Dr. Henry also added.*

Minister Dix added: "We are all in, we have thrown everything in but the kitchen sink and the kitchen sink went in a week ago. We are doing everything we can to support the north and we will continue to do that. But we also need to ask people in the north to do more."

*This article has been updated.

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