BC warns of more restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge due to gatherings

Oct 22 2020, 3:34 pm

Gatherings such as weddings and funerals are sprouting coronavirus infections in BC, according to the province’s top doctor.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that if the trend continues, she will implement further restrictions on gatherings to curb the spread.

Those restrictions could look like reducing the indoor gathering limit down from its current cap of 50 people or applying more conditions for those seeking wedding licences.

“Weddings and other celebrations are proving to be high-risk. Much of the surge is directly linked to social events,” she said.

“As much as I am hesitant to do so and we’ve seen this before, if there is a major source of transmission, additional measures can and will be put in place if they’re needed. We will use all the tools that are available whether that is conditions tied to wedding licenses, restrictions on numbers on indoor gatherings or other measures that we know will be effective in trying to break these large transmission events.”

People who caught coronavirus at social events have gone on to spread it to workplaces, schools, and healthcare settings, Henry added.

She asked those getting married to consider a smaller civil ceremony and push back a larger celebration with friends and family until next year.

“It may not be safe for everybody you want at your special day,” she said. “Weddings need to be small. As small as possible.”

She cautioned couples against hosting two small events with different people, and against mingling at a private residence after the physically distanced ceremony.

Henry’s words come on the same day that BC set a new record for daily cases, discovering 274 cases in a 24-hour period.

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