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Ironman Canada in doubt as increased restrictions put in place in Okanagan

Organized outdoor events capped at 100 people in B.C. interior until the end of September

In June Ironman announced that the long-awaited return of Ironman Canada to Penticton would be delayed by a month as the race was “better positioned to take place” in September. Now it is looking as though that is going to be a tough ask, too, as health officials in B.C. have expanded the restrictions introduced in the Central Okanagan earlier this summer to the entire region thanks to a surge in coronavirus cases. According to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry the next phase of B.C.’s opening plan, set for Sept. 7, probably won’t happen, either.

“It’s very likely we won’t be seeing a move to any more loosening of restrictions in the near term,” she said in a press conference on Aug. 20.

On Friday there were 663 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., with more than 40 per cent of those in the Interior Health region, which includes Penticton. Most of those cases with unvaccinated people between the ages of 20 and 59.

The latest restrictions limit outdoor getherings to 50 people, while “organized outdoor events … will be capped at 100 people,” CBC reports.

Earlier this month cases surged in the Central Okanagan region, which includes Kelowna and Peachland (just 38 km from Penticton). As of today those restrictions have been extended to the entire Interior Health region and will “be in effect until the end of September and the region sees lowered case counts and higher vaccination rates,” CBC reports.

All of which seem to indicate the chances of Ironman Canada taking place on Sept. 26 are a long shot at this point. We’ve reached out to Ironman for comment and will update this story with any further information we receive.

Ed. Note: We did hear back from Ironman – the event is officially “postponed” to 2022.

Related: Ironman Canada “postponed” to 2022