Ten Gulf Islands Cases Among Recent COVID Surge

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As COVID-19 cases rise around the province and the world due to the Omicron variant, Island Health has issued a notice of potential exposure at Gulf Islands Secondary School.

The dates in question are Dec. 13, 14, 15 and 16.

As per Island Health policy, anyone who was deemed to be in close contact on those dates with people testing positive will be notified directly by Island Health.

Most recent BC Centre for Disease Control figures (click on ‘Map’ and then the ‘Greater Victoria’ inset) have nine new reported COVID-19 cases on Salt Spring Island between Dec. 13 and 19, and one case on the other Southern Gulf Islands.

On Tuesday, British Columbia saw an all-time daily high of new cases — 1,308 — since the beginning of the pandemic.

A COVID vaccination clinic is now in operation in the annex at Salt Spring Island Middle School (with the entrance from Park Drive). Island Health has stated that people needing first or second doses of vaccine may get them by walking in, while booster shots will be given by appointment, but some Salt Spring residents have reported being able to get a booster shot on a walk-in basis as long as enough time has passed since receiving their second shot.

Call 1-833-838-2323 to book an appointment for a booster. More information is available from Salt Spring’s public health office at 250-538-4880.

People who feel they may have symptoms of COVID should phone 1-844-901-8442 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily to arrange for testing, and isolate themselves from others.

New Provincial Health Orders

Revised provincial health officer orders announced Monday and Tuesday and in place until Jan. 18, 2022 are as follows.

* no organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;

* concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;

* closing gyms, fitness centres and dance studios;

* closing bars and nightclubs;

* limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers;

• Indoor personal gatherings are limited to your household plus 10 visitors or 1 other household. Everyone 12 + must be fully vaccinated;

• At restaurants, cafes and pubs, customers must stay seated and cannot move between or visit other tables. Masks are required when not seated;

• All sports tournaments and related travel are not allowed.

For worship services, the following applies, but people should check with their faith group about whether or not they intend to proceed with in-person services:

• If all participants are vaccinated as determined by the worship service leader, there are no capacity restrictions on worship services and choirs.

• If participants are not all vaccinated, worship services and choirs are limited to 50% seated capacity.

• Masks are required but can be temporarily removed for ceremonial eating and drinking, and by officiants, readers or for singing a solo where physical distancing is observed.

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