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Photos, videos of large groups gathering to party spark criticism for lack of physical distancing

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Aug 16, 2020 at 10:53 am PDT

(L) Group gathers on Granville Street, (Top R) drum circle on English Bay, (Bottom L) crowd at Wreck Beach (Screenshots)

Another night, another large gathering in the Vancouver area

Pictures online show little, if any, social distancing, with people taking to Twitter to denounce the behaviour

A Vancouver city councillor says we risk facing tighter restrictions if people can't abide by COVID guidelines

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Throughout the weekend, videos and photos have surfaced as dozens of people crowded various areas in Vancouver to party.

On Sunday morning photos of a large drum circle were taken at English Bay, showing the group standing together, not socially distancing. The gathering at the beach came after a huge crowd descended on the Granville Strip, where dozens of people partied while not following COVID-19 safety protocols.

At around 9:00 p.m., another drum circle took place at Wreck Beach. A video on snap chat shows the crowd while other beachgoers maintain distance.

Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato tells NEWS 1130 she’s concerned of the fallout if people don’t follow COVID guidelines now.

“I’m deeply concerned about what we’re seeing, particularly in light of recent comments from Dr. [Bonnie] Henry and Minister of Health [Adrian] Dix around the increase in cases they’ve seen over the last number of weeks. And it appears in the data that they have is they’re seeing certain demographics represented, they’re concerned about the trickle-down effect,” she says.

“So from my perspective, it is concerning. And I think we need to heed their advice and really be careful and keep our bubbles small and really avoid these large gatherings.”


This week, Dr. Bonnie Henry presented modelling data 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.

Risk of restrictions again

Dominato added she thinks there are risk restrictions that will tighten once again if people do not follow the health officials’ advice.

“If we continue to see an increasing number of cases, and if there is a connection to those cases are being connected to particular venues and particular events, I wouldn’t be surprised if the provincial medical health officer says, ‘You know what, it’s too risky.'”

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to really keep their distance not engaged in these activities … I think we need to focus again on prevention education, raising awareness, that we have to take care right now. It’s really difficult for everyone … it’s very difficult for young people, for families, for seniors. But this is a public health emergency.”

The gathering on English Bay is just across the street from two popular West End bars, the Bayside Lounge and The Park at English Bay; both closed due to possible exposures.