Fraser Health officials urged residents this week not to host Halloween parties in private homes this Saturday.
The health authority is noting a surge in coronavirus cases and seeing the highest test positivity rate in the whole province. Officials don’t want the spooky event normally marked by costumed parties and often featuring alcohol to fuel even more infections.
“Even small gatherings are risky right now,” Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee said at an October 27 news conference. “To keep our community safe… we’re asking the public to minimize private gatherings.”
- See also:
Fraser Health encompasses Burnaby, the Fraser Valley, as well as the Tri-Cities. It’s the largest health authority in BC by population and also the most densely populated with many inter-generational homes. These characteristics mean COVID-19 has spread more widely compared to other jurisdictions, officials said.
Out of the 287 new coronavirus infections announced Wednesday, 189 were in Fraser Health.
Residents are still permitted to go to restaurants and other businesses with COVID-19 safety plans in place, but Lee and Vice President Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin said house parties are not safe right now, even when they’re limited to a household’s “safe six.”
Families with children can still dress up and walk around the neighbourhood, provided they stay physically distant from others.
“There are no plans to cancel Halloween,” Brodkin said. “But we do not want to see Halloween parties and celebrations in private residences.”