Over 40 people caught coronavirus after party in Vancouver Coastal Health: Henry

Aug 7 2020, 11:08 am

A recent party that occurred in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region has resulted in more than 40 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.

Health officials shared details about the event on Thursday afternoon, stressing that both large parties and private gatherings continue to be a harmful source of transmission within British Columbia.

“It was up to 45 or 46 people who were associated with a party,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters.

Henry notes that there are a number of gatherings that are still being held and says that they’re similar to the parties that took place in Kelowna early last month.

“There are overlapping social groups that are similar to what we saw,” she explains. “Slightly different from what happened in the Interior but a similar concept. Those numbers are reflected not only in VCH but also many people that live in the Fraser Health region.”

These parties and gatherings are also creating a large opportunity for exposure, due to the high number of contacts related to attendees.

“The number of contacts related are in the 400 range,” Henry states. “Even though they may have been smaller, individual parties, the overlapping groups mean that there’s a large number of people who were potentially exposed.”

Health officials are also concerned that the large amount of potential exposure creates a “spillover” that affects different demographics.

“We’re starting to see a spillover into more concerning environments like people who work in long-term care homes or people who work in some of the essential services,” Henry stresses.

“If we’re a healthcare worker and we’re going out to parties we need to keep our bubbles small. This is not the time to start expanding widely for those types of community contacts; so that’s where we’re seeing some of this transmission happening.”

Parties and large gatherings have been addressed by health officials on multiple occasions, both at the provincial and federal levels. Many of these events occurred over the month of July and is one of the reasons for a higher number of cases in younger demographics.

Premier John Horgan has also shared his thoughts on the matter, saying that British Columbians are “better than that.”

And with more than 1,500 people that are currently in quarantine due to potential coronavirus exposure, Henry says that “a good portion of them are related to those types of social settings.”

“That’s our warning right now,” she stresses.” That’s where we’re seeing the virus get a chance to transmit to potentially large numbers of people.”

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