Large public events like PNE "not likely to happen this year": BC health officials

Apr 18 2020, 1:35 pm

BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said people should temper their expectations for what this summer might look like when it comes to planned private gatherings such as weddings, as well as large-scale public events like the PNE.

Henry made the comments during a noon-hour press conference  today, regarding the current COVID-19 situation in the province.

Calling it a “much riskier prospect than ever before,” Henry said “realistically, we will not be having those big events of people gathered together this summer.

She added that there is not enough “herd immunity to protect everybody and allow those types of event to happen.”

Now is not the time “for those types of mass gatherings where we have lots of people together, and it’s not going to be through this summer,” said Henry. “Things like the PNE are not likely to happen this year.”

Instead, she furthered, “now is the time to think we can think about how we can celebrate important milestones, important things in our lives in a way that allows us to have a safe distance, and I think we should be starting to plan that now.”

Henry’s comments come after a press conference yesterday, in which she and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix hinted that the strict measures currently in place to battle coronavirus could potentially begin to ease up in mid-May, but only if cases continue to decrease.

During Saturday’s press conference, Henry announced 29 new test-positive cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 1,647. A total of 81 people in BC have now died from the virus as well.

Broken down by health region, Henry said there are 686 known cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 680 in Fraser Health, 97 on Vancouver Island,  150 in Interior Health, and 34 in Northern Health.

Of the total cases, 115 are hospitalized and 54 are in critical care. A total of 987 people have now fully recovered.

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