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B.C. warned of potentially explosive spread of COVID-19 as long weekend arrives

Last Updated Sep 4, 2020 at 7:18 am PDT

FILE - People sit and lie in the sun at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, on Saturday, May 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Dr. Bonnie Henry is making a plea for young people to stop gathering and help slow the spread of COVID-19

People 20-29 years old now counted as largest group of infections

More community transmission at private parties, events, gyms recorded

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With the potential for an explosive spread of COVID-19 cases over the Labour Day long weekend, B.C.’s top doctor is asking us to work harder to flatten the curve.

She says transmissions continue at private gatherings, indoor parties and as people mix between bubbles, and what happens two weeks down the road depends on the choices we make now.

(Courtesy B.C. government)

“Choose to go small, choose to spend time with your household bubble instead of a group of strangers and choose to use those layers of protection wherever you go,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, Thursday.

While young people between 20 and 29 years old now make up the largest infected demographic in B.C., Henry explained that one reason parties and gatherings are garnering so much attention is because contact tracing is so difficult in those situations.

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“It’s the mixing with people that we don’t know that we know is risky because we then are subjected to the same people they’ve come in contact with and then that risk goes up really quickly,” she said.

Henry added workplace outbreaks continue but it’s much easier to contain those outbreaks to two or three people in each cluster, thanks to WorkSafeBC safety plans.

She recognizes social interaction is key to the enjoyment of life, however, Henry said it’s important to find new ways of fulfilling that need, for now, especially as kids head back to school, young adults head off to post-secondary and many return to work.

“That is an important part of one’s life when you’re young; that need for social interaction is so much higher, so now we need to change our focus and do it in a safe way.”

B.C. has recorded more than 6,000 cases of COVID-19, with over 4,600 cases marked as “recovered.” There have been 210 deaths.