The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
BC Politics

Mask Rules and Travel Restrictions Return for the Central Okanagan

Increase in COVID-19 cases brings the return of some measures lifted four weeks ago.

Moira Wyton 28 Jul 2021 |

Moira Wyton is The Tyee’s health reporter. Follow her @moirawyton or reach her here. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

Mandatory masks in indoor spaces and a slew of public health measures will be reinstated in the Central Okanagan as public health officials today declared a COVID-19 outbreak over rising cases in the health area.

There have been about 240 cases of COVID-19 in the last week, representing more than half of new cases in the province. The area has less than four per cent of B.C.’s population.

“We need to focus additional measures to reduce transmission,” said Interior Health chief medical health officer Dr. Sue Pollock. “It’s time to slow down and it’s time to step back to protect our community.”

The announcement brings other targeted regional restrictions, including an advisory against non-essential travel into or out of the region for individuals who are not fully vaccinated. The area includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.

The travel advisory does not apply to families with children under 12 who can’t yet be vaccinated, Pollock and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Workplace enforcement will also be stepped up to ensure businesses are following outbreak prevention protocols. If three or more cases are linked to a workplace, WorkSafeBC and public health can make the decision to close the business for 10 or more days.

And residents will be eligible for their second vaccine doses just four weeks after their first doses in a bid to speed up vaccinations in the region that is lagging behind the rest of the province. The current interval elsewhere is between six and seven weeks.

“Vaccination works,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Now’s our time to make sure we’re getting that message out to people, including young people across the province.”

As of today, 80.8 per cent of people in the province over 12 have received at least one shot, and 63.2 per cent have both doses.

In the Central Okanagan, just 74.2 per cent of people have had a single dose and 60 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Across Interior Health, 26 per cent of the population is unvaccinated, compared with 14 per cent in Vancouver Coastal. The Northern Health region has a higher vulnerability, with 32.5 per cent of people unvaccinated.

The new measures, which do not yet have an expiration date, represent what public health officials hinted could take place in other parts of B.C. where the virus continues to spread, particularly among unvaccinated people.

Most of the cases are among young people aged 20 to 40 who have had limited vaccine access but are more active in their communities and so more likely to transmit the virus.

“Where we’re seeing transmission is in pockets of people who are un-immunized or under-immunized,” Henry said.

On Tuesday, the province rolled out its Vax for BC campaign to target the 900,000 eligible British Columbians who are not yet vaccinated.

The campaign will see more vaccines directed to pop-up, mobile and community-based clinics to make vaccination convenient.

In the North and Interior, where financial and geographic barriers can make it more difficult to book and get to a vaccine appointment, public health officials will begin travelling to smaller communities to vaccinate residents close to home.

When asked by The Tyee whether today’s measures indicated the provincewide mask mandate, lifted on July 1, had been removed too early, Henry said no. “We know that wearing masks is important when we have widespread lack of immunity,” she said.

“We are going to see clusters and flare-ups in communities that aren’t yet protected,” Henry said, but vaccines mean provincewide restrictions aren’t needed to quell this outbreak. Less than five per cent of new cases in the last month involve people who have received two doses of vaccine.

“The virus is not going to take off as much,” she said.  [Tyee]

Read more: Coronavirus, BC Politics

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context


The Barometer

What Issue Is Most Important to You This Election?

Take this week's poll