PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. -- Northern Health has extended the public health orders that were applied to all northern regions east of Kitwanga to stop the spread of COVID-19.

These orders placed restrictions on the sizes of indoor gatherings and events, closed bars and nightclubs and made organized events require a safety plan, masks and proof of full vaccination

They were put in place mid-October and set to expire on November 19th at midnight.

However, the health authority now says that expiry date has been removed and current measure will remain in place pending further assessment of the north's status with the virus.

Areas affected by these restrictions in Northwest B.C. include Hazelton, Telkwa, Smithers, Houston and Burns Lake. 

Terrace, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Dease Lake and Stewart remain exempt from the restrictions due to high vaccination rates.

The Northern Health region makes up 6 per cent of B.C.'s population but currently has 15 per cent of all active COVID-19 cases in the province.