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B.C. warns partygoers of additional crackdowns as more young people contract COVID-19

Last Updated Aug 14, 2020 at 5:23 am PDT


B.C.'s health minister is warning anyone planning a private party or wedding that COVID-19 safety orders will be enforce

Most people testing positive now are between 20 and 40 years old

B.C. public health workers, officers will be out in full force cracking down on large events starting this weekend

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The provincial health minister says British Columbians can expect additional crackdowns on indoor parties and other gatherings starting this weekend.

On Thursday, Adrian Dix had some strong words about a lack of social distancing at parties.

Dix said he’s now promising environmental health officers and people in public health will visit offenders where they gather.

“It’s our expectation that the limits on the number of people at parties will be in place this weekend, everywhere in B.C.”

If you do witness bad behaviour and want to report it, you can call a bylaw officer. But do not call 9-1-1.

The crackdown comes as new modelling reflects an increase in younger people testing positive for COVID-19.

The number of British Columbians in self-isolation because of COVID-19 is getting close to 1,900 as the province reports 78 new cases in the past day. There have been no new deaths.

New modelling

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also presenting modelling data on Thursday, reconfirming a “rapid increase” in cases among people younger than 40, especially those in their 20s, as well as assuring parents that the effects of COVID-19 on school-age children are limited.

The 20-to-29-year-old age group has gone up the most, Henry said, with distinct increases around the end of June and end of July.

The data also shows few infections among children, especially those under 10.

“We’re now up to 78 children under 10 who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, two of whom were hospitalized,” Henry said. “And so this reflects about two per cent of our cases in the province, whereas children under the age of 10 are about nine per cent of our population.”

She said the same is true for children aged 10 to 19, with 162 diagnosed in that age group.

“That’s four per cent of our cases in a population that represents 10 per cent of the proportion,” Henry added.

“In both those cases, very small numbers, only three out of the entire group have required hospitalization. We’ve had nobody who’s needed ICU care and, thankfully, nobody who has died.”

The data also shows young adults make up a disproportionate number of cases, at about 17 per cent, compared to their representation in the population of being only 13 or 14 per cent.

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‘An upwards swing’

Henry also said as the province relaxed health and safety regulations, the reproductive number — the average daily number of new infections that are generated per case — has started to swing upwards as contacts are around 70 per cent of normal.

“We know that we want to be under one,” she added.

Health and safety measures, along with contact tracing can help reduce that and flatten the curve, she said.

However, the modelling suggests new cases could continue to rise throughout the summer, trending towards a sharp rise in fall.

New cases

The bulk of new cases have been in the Lower Mainland, although some are related to international travel.

In Fraser South region has seen the most cases in the past two weeks, with 112. Fraser North has had 44, while Vancouver has had 51. Richmond has had just five.

Of 452 cases during that time, 50 have been in the Okanagan.

The majority are linked to other known exposures.

With the new cases Thursday, the total in B.C. climbed to 4,274. Of those, 578 are active.

The province reported a new outbreak at the Okanagan Correctional Centre involving three staff.

With no new deaths, the total in B.C. remains 196.

Read the full modelling report: