There is currently only one active case of COVID 19 in North Vancouver Island and there have been no reports of new cases anywhere on Vancouver Island since last Thursday, but British Columbia has just set a record for the highest daily rise over a three-day period. As of 4:30 PM Monday, there were 2,316 active cases, and 77 people in hospitals, on the Mainland. It is not certain that Vancouver Island will continue to remain relatively COVID free while the virus spreads throughout the rest of the province. Dr Bonnie Henry has just issued a province wide health order limiting gatherings in homes to immediate family and six others.
Spread of virus in private homes
“Similar to what occurred in the summer with vacation homes and rentals, where we were seeing parties that meant people were passing the virus on to many others, we have seen a notable increase in transmission of COVID 19 as a direct result of social gatherings in private homes. Many of the cases that we have seen in the last few weeks have been related to these important celebrations where people are getting together with larger numbers of people than can be accommodated safely within their homes ,” said Henry.
“I’d like to be clear, this has been the case in every part of the province, but we know the risk is highest where there is more virus circulating in our community and that has meant that this type of gathering, of celebration, has led to more cases in some aras of the province than others. So we do see that the cases and the transmission we’re seeing in the Lower Mainland, in Metro Vancouver, and particularly in the Fraser Valley (the Fraser Health Region), have related to the fact there is more virus circulating in our community and this type of party is very risky right now.”
Limiting gatherings in private homes
“As a result, today [October 26] I am putting in a new provincial health officer order. This order limits gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household plus your safe six, six additional others.”
Dr Henry added, “In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you.”
Top photo credit: Dr Bonnie Henry giving the health order limiting gatherings in homes to family and six others – courtesy BC Government