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Canada's top doctor reminding Canadians COVID-19 doesn't take a long weekend off

Last Updated Aug 1, 2020 at 9:18 am PDT

FILE - People sit and lie in the sun at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, on Saturday, May 9, 2020. As bars, restaurants and house parties continue to play significant roles in spreading COVID-19, some infectious disease experts in Canada think it's time to offer a safer alternative to drinking in public. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Canada's chief medical officer of health urging people to keep any social get-togethers small to avoid spreading virus

Dr. Theresa Tam said COVID-19 is waiting to 'gatecrash' backyard gatherings

The country has recorded 116,298 confirmed cases including 8,935 deaths

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — If a backyard barbeque or a trip to the beach is on your agenda this long weekend, Canada’s top doctor is warning you not to invite the possibility of contracting COVID-19.

“The virus is the unintended consequence, gatecrashing your well-intended backyard gathering and potentially affecting the health of your family and community. So this weekend, plan to keep it small. And don’t let your guard down,” Dr. Theresa Tam advised Canadians during her Friday update.

Tam added that keeping social circle small allows you “to deepen and enrich connections within our social bubble.”

While Canadians enjoy the second last long weekend during the pandemic, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says staying away from large gatherings is what can keep us moving on the right track.

“It’s the difference between our kids going back to school or not in September, businesses staying open, or being closed once again,” he said. “So please be responsible.”

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In B.C. cases have surged and Dr. Bonnie Henry says the increase can be connected to a spread of the virus on Canada Day.

“Let’s make this long weekend a different one than what we saw in early July. Whether you are 15, 25 or 55, celebrate our incredible province by socializing safely. The actions you take do make a difference and we have seen that in the last few weeks, what you do this weekend will determine how we are going to be able to manage in the weeks and months ahead,” she said earlier in the week.

Henry has pointed to parties in Kelowna, which led to an increase in cases in the province’s interior and other parts of the region.

As a result of the exposure during the Canada Day long weekend in Kelowna, more than 70 cases of COVID-19 were recorded, and more than 1,000 people were forced to self-isolate.

Henry urged British Columbians to make the upcoming long weekend “a different one than what we saw in early July,” adding everyone’s responsible for socializing safely.

“The actions you take do make a difference and we have seen that in the last few weeks, what you do this weekend will determine how we are going to be able to manage in the weeks and months ahead,” she said Thursday.

As of this Saturday the country has recorded 116,298 confirmed cases including 8,935 deaths and 101,226 cases have been resolved.

B.C. has 3,641 confirmed cased including 195 deaths. 3,168 cases have been resolved.