Private parties still a threat to transmission of COVID-19 virus

Parties still cause of cases

Private parties are still the cause of many of the new COVID-19 cases in British Columbia, says provincial health officer Dr. Henry. 

During Monday's press conference, she urged residents to "do better" collectively to prevent exposure events from happening. 

"Our layers of protection reduce the spread of COVID-19. We know that works. We know we can do it. 

"What I can tell you is that parties and gatherings with young people, many of whom you don't know, even if there are fewer than 50 people, are a concern, and we have seen that." 

Health officials have shut down various parties across the province recently, says Dr. Henry, and fines have been levied on some too. 

She says the role of the individual during this time is to take personal responsibility for making wise decisions about time spent with friends and/or acquaintances.

"If your friends invite you to a party and it doesn't feel right, don't go.  

"There's no better excuse than a global pandemic to be able to do the right thing and encourage your friends to do the right thing too." 

Minister of Health Adrian Dix says while those who tested positive at parties shouldn't be blamed, it is essential  private parties are carefully managed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 

"There are people who may have gone to parties that didn't test positive, that aren't sick, and the circumstances of those who are should be the subject of care, and not the subject of scorn.

"But that said, we do need to continue to take actions ... some of that will require enforcement."

Individuals need to take action by saying no to private parties where not everybody is known, and saying no to organizing parties like that, says Dix. 

He also encouraged B.C. residents that although the government will be partnering with social media influencers to help spread the message, we all have the ability to impact the people around us. 

"We are all influencers and we can all influence the behaviour of ourselves first of all, but of the people around us. How we behave, how we say no respectfully to behaviour that is unwise in the context of a pandemic, is an important way that all of us can participate in stopping the spread." 

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