B.C.’s provincial health officer is ordering people who rent houses, houseboats and other vacation rentals to limit their guests, as the province reports another 30 COVID-19 cases.
The July 23 total is mainly related to a series of parties in the Central and South Okanagan in recent days, Dr. Bonnie Henry said, adding that the provincial order for rentals is being prepared.
Henry advised people to follow restaurant rules when they are having gatherings in their own homes. Restaurants are limited to a maximum of six people per table.
“We know this virus can be a stealth virus,” Henry said. “Being around crowds of people, especially people you don’t know, puts you and your family and your friends at risk.”
Details of the rental restrictions are being worked on and the new order will be in place by July 24, Henry said. The measure will be required for rental agreements for resorts and other vacation rentals such as AirBnB or VRBO. Henry said the intent is to make numerical restrictions part of rental agreements once the numbers are finalized.
“We’ve seen the challenges when people get together and then they have parties,” Henry said.
People exposed in Okanagan events have been returning home to places around the province, and there has been an uptick in cases in the Northern Health region, Health Minister Adrian Dix said. B.C.’s case total remains low compared to Alberta and the hundreds of daily cases in Washington state, but has jumped from 10 a day to 30 in the past two weeks.
Henry and Dix reported one additional death in a seniors’ long-term care facility, for a total of 190 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic began early this year.