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Christmas, other holidays threatened by rising COVID-19 cases ahead of Halloween

Last Updated Oct 27, 2020 at 7:23 am PST

Farm decorated with Christmas lights. (iStock Photo)
Summary

British Columbians are being reminded to keep celebrations small as Halloween approaches and COVID-19 cases rise

Dr. Bonnie Henry says Christmas and other holidays could be on the line if B.C. doesn't get control of COVID-19

Warning against parties comes as B.C. introduces new order limiting gathering size at private homes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbians are being warned against any big Halloween parties this weekend.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is done politely asking people to stop having large social gatherings and to instead keep things small.

“I have been very clear about this. We need to focus on small groups outside, do things with the kids to help them have a fun time, but this is not the time for Halloween parties, for the adults getting together and having indoor parties cannot happen,” she said at her briefing on Monday.

Henry announced a new order limiting the number of people allowed to gather at any private home to the immediate household plus a “safe six.”

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Her latest warning came as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across B.C.

She said many people who ignored the same advice over Thanksgiving are probably feeling sorry now, which is why she’s cracking down on people who don’t think the COVID-19 rules apply to them.

“We need to do this now and into the new year. It’s going to be some months until we are through this part. I am hopeful that we will have things like a vaccine early next year, but it’s not going to be out for everybody all at once. So we need to do our bit now to focus on our priorities,” she explained.

The key area of concern remains the Lower Mainland, Henry pointed out on Monday, but she noted other parts of the province are not immune.

Henry said if reckless behaviour continues, we may have no chance at celebrating the winter festivities, which will likely look very different this year, as have other celebrations, regardless.

“Consider all of the celebrations that are coming up — Hanukkah or Christmas — I mean, look at how we can focus on our immediate families and making sure that we can do it safely, so that is a possibility, that we would not have large family gatherings over Christmas,” she said.

B.C. saw a record number of COVID-19 cases over the weekend, reporting 817 new infections since Friday.