Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix look on as Premier John Horgan discusses reopening the province’s economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

15 recent COVID-19 cases in B.C. linked to 30-person family gathering

The cluster serves as a warning for how careful British Columbians must be, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

As B.C. continues to see a decrease in new daily COVID-19 cases, a recent cluster connected to a family gathering is serving as a reminder to how quickly the novel coronavirus can spread.

According to health officials, 15 recent cases have been linked to a family gathering in the Fraser Health region, which includes most of the Lower Mainland outside of Vancouver and North Vancouver.

ALSO READ: Gaining herd immunity through COVID-19 transmissions ‘ineffective’

Roughly 30 people had attended the event, which took place indoors and outdoors.

“That is a warning sign to us all and it’s not that somebody intentionally brings that in to their community to their loved ones to their family,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday (June 9).

“This is something we have been seeing around the world, the most common ways it gets transmitted to is the people we are closest to and spend time with.”

B.C. is currently in Phase Two in its restart plan following financially crippling social restrictions implemented in early March to curb the spread of the contagious respiratory illness.

ALSO READ: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

Since restaurants, gyms and hair salons were given the green light to reopen at half-capacity roughly three weeks ago, transmission rates have remained low – promising news for British Columbians hoping to be allowed to spend a night at their local movie theatre this summer, as part of Phase Three.

But Henry has also cautioned for people to think carefully when expanding their “pandemic bubble,” picking a few friends to start spending time with again.

While the family gathering fell within the province’s order for events to have a 50-person maximum it likely went against some of the physical distancing and hygiene practises health officials are still urging be followed.

“The most important thing is the time that we spend in close proximity with somebody, that one-to-two-metre radius,” she said. “Even if you are spending time outside in close contact talking to someone it is still risky and that is of course our concern right now.”

In the past, Henry has cautioned that the ban on large gatherings will remain in place indefinitely, and the province won’t move into the next phase of reopening unless transmission rates stay low.

ALSO READ: A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

‘Lifting Hands’ mural on White Rock wall celebrates community’s COVID efforts

High school students, grads inviting health-care workers, emergency crews to add handprints

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read