COVID-19

School District 83 announced, due to a staffing shortage, a two-day functional closure of Armstrong Elementary on Jan. 14 and 17 was being extended to Jan. 21. (File photo )

Concern grows over school closures as COVID-19 exposures increase in Okanagan

Several schools have had to close from one to several days due to a lack of staff

School District 83 announced, due to a staffing shortage, a two-day functional closure of Armstrong Elementary on Jan. 14 and 17 was being extended to Jan. 21. (File photo )
Penticton Vees (submitted)

Penticton Vees denied entry into United States

Vees were scheduled to play Wenatchee Saturday night

Penticton Vees (submitted)
The list of rescheduled games involving the Princeton Posse, the Summerland Steam, and the 100 Mile House Wranglers. (KIJHL)

KIJHL postpones games, players and staff test positive for COVID-19

Games involving Princeton Posse, Summerland Steam, and 100 Mile House Wranglers have been postponed

The list of rescheduled games involving the Princeton Posse, the Summerland Steam, and the 100 Mile House Wranglers. (KIJHL)
Michele Matteazzi with his wife Tiffany and their kids. (Submitted photo)

Unvaccinated B.C. man forced to quarantine after 10-minute chat with U.S. border agents

Michele Matteazzi visited Abbotsford-Huntingdon border to have travel questions answered

Michele Matteazzi with his wife Tiffany and their kids. (Submitted photo)
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we grieve. (File photo)

Hay: We can’t let the pandemic put grief on hold

‘I have learned the difference between fear and hope is focus’

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we grieve. (File photo)
The Board of Education of School District No. 19 has voted to implement a COVID-19 proof of vaccination procedure. (File photo)

Revelstoke board of education to adopt vaccination mandate for staff

Finalized procedure and communication plan to be implemented by Apr. 1

The Board of Education of School District No. 19 has voted to implement a COVID-19 proof of vaccination procedure. (File photo)
Four Armstrong Elementary teachers are refusing to work in response to the number of students at the school not wearing face masks. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

High number of mask exemptions prompts teachers at North Okanagan elementary to refuse work

Union president says four teachers at home due to concerning number of unmasked students

Four Armstrong Elementary teachers are refusing to work in response to the number of students at the school not wearing face masks. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
(File photo)

UBC Okanagan delays in-person classes as Omicron spreads

In-person teaching and learning will be placed on hold until Feb. 7

(File photo)
(File Photo)

Kent Institution outbreak grows to more than 60 COVID-19 cases

41 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent outbreak

(File Photo)
A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the Hamlets in Vernon on Jan. 9, 2022. (Hamlets file photo)

COVID-19 outbreaks reported at two Vernon care homes

The Hamlets and Heritage Square are currently experiencing outbreaks

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the Hamlets in Vernon on Jan. 9, 2022. (Hamlets file photo)
Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)

COVID-19 outbreak on a surgical ward at Kelowna General Hospital

IH also announces COVID-19 outbreak at an assisted living facility in Vernon

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
A woman tries to speak to her mother, through a window at Orchard Villa Care home, in Pickering, Ont. on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The expert spearheading new draft national standards for long-term care says they must strike a balance between residents’ safety and their quality of life. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

New Canadian care home standards to emphasize fact that they are homes, not wards

Consultations showed pandemic policies hurt mental and social well-being, balance called for

A woman tries to speak to her mother, through a window at Orchard Villa Care home, in Pickering, Ont. on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The expert spearheading new draft national standards for long-term care says they must strike a balance between residents’ safety and their quality of life. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Ben Stewart is calling out for constructive dialogue between businesses and Interior Health ( John Lehmann)

Kelowna-West MLA calls for gym closures to be reversed immediately

Ben Stewart has written a letter to Minister Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry

Ben Stewart is calling out for constructive dialogue between businesses and Interior Health ( John Lehmann)
FILE - A chef cooks Chinese food on a rainy fall day as the restaurant is open for curb-side pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Slim majority support government lockdowns, restrictions in response to Omicron

Growing number of Canadians are unhappy with how their governments are handling pandemic

FILE - A chef cooks Chinese food on a rainy fall day as the restaurant is open for curb-side pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
People walk by a sign at a restaurant advising customers of Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccine passport in Montreal, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. Quebec is considering expanding its vaccine passport system further, a move that some health and ethics experts say is justified because of the high number of COVID-19 patients in the province’s hospitals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Tightening rules for unvaccinated is justified as health system struggles: experts

Others: people rejecting COVID-19 vaccines out of ideology won’t be swayed by restrictions

People walk by a sign at a restaurant advising customers of Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccine passport in Montreal, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. Quebec is considering expanding its vaccine passport system further, a move that some health and ethics experts say is justified because of the high number of COVID-19 patients in the province’s hospitals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
A row of ambulances is seen outside a hospital in Montreal, on Monday, January 10, 2022. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will do all it can to help provinces and territories cope with the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as infections fuelled by the Omicron variant threaten to overwhelm health systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Trudeau says Canada will have enough COVID-19 vaccines as US issues travel advisory

Provinces and territories will receive a combined 140 million rapid tests this month

A row of ambulances is seen outside a hospital in Montreal, on Monday, January 10, 2022. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will do all it can to help provinces and territories cope with the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as infections fuelled by the Omicron variant threaten to overwhelm health systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Paramedics transfer a person from an ambulance into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. The Health Department says data from the last 24 hours indicates a 140-jump in hospitalization from the previous day, for a total of 2,436. The province is also reporting 11,007 new cases of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

COVID hospitalizations nearing or reaching record highs in several provinces

Many provinces imposed a weeklong delay in the return to in-person schooling

Paramedics transfer a person from an ambulance into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. The Health Department says data from the last 24 hours indicates a 140-jump in hospitalization from the previous day, for a total of 2,436. The province is also reporting 11,007 new cases of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
A COVID-19 rapid test kit. (File photo)

Kelowna, West Kelowna all out of rapid antigen tests

Interior Health announced tests were temporarily unavailable on Jan. 8

A COVID-19 rapid test kit. (File photo)
After being ordered to close the gym is rebranding as an aquatic center (Iron Energy Gym)

West Kelowna based Iron Energy Gym trying to swim away from closure

The gym has been ordered to close, issued a fine and was not issued a 2022 business license

After being ordered to close the gym is rebranding as an aquatic center (Iron Energy Gym)
Skiers on the Boomerang Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

High elevation, high numbers: B.C. resort towns report COVID spikes

Resort communities are at more risk, according to Dr. Karin Goodison of Interior Health

Skiers on the Boomerang Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)