B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speak at a press conference regarding COVID-19. The province has banned all public events of 250 people or more, a situation that has forced the cancellation or postponement of performances at all of Victoria’s main entertainment venues. (B.C. government)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speak at a press conference regarding COVID-19. The province has banned all public events of 250 people or more, a situation that has forced the cancellation or postponement of performances at all of Victoria’s main entertainment venues. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: Greater Victoria sports, entertainment venues affected after province bans large gatherings

Health officials take new measures to combat spread of novel coronavirus

The B.C. government has placed a ban on all events with more than 250 people amid growing concerns around the spread of COVID-19.

“We have to do our best to slow transmissions here in British Columbia,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a daily briefing about the coronavirus on Thursday. The news came as the province confirmed seven more people infected with the novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the total to 53 cases and one death.

“We are looking at event organizers – whether it’s community events, whether it’s large events – to look at alternatives they can use to keep that connectedness and social cohesiveness,” Henry said.

The Civic Orchestra of Victoria has cancelled its March 14 performance after Thursday’s announcement by the province.

The move has forced cancellation of numerous arts, entertainment and sporting events in Greater Victoria, effectively immediately.

The Royal and McPherson Theatre Society, operators of two of the city’s largest performance venues, posted an announcement on its website Thursday night informing patrons that both its theatres were closed to the public until further notice. It stated that ticket holders would be contacted in the coming days about their options. Similar themed notices from other community arts groups, from theatres to musical groups, followed in the hours after the provincial announcement.

Ticket holders for any event scheduled for the coming days and weeks in a facility that holds 250 or more people is advised to check the venue’s website or call them for up to date information.

RELATED STORY: Capital City Comic Con postponed due to COVID-19

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a pandemic. Since then, major sports organizations, such as the NHL and NBA, have postponed games until further notice. Larger events, including the TC10K, Vancouver Auto Show and Vancouver Sun Run have also been cancelled.

B.C. health officials are also recommending people don’t travel outside Canada.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday that B.C. residents have a choice whether they want to risk going to the U.S. or another country, but if they do they should expect to be in isolation for 14 days when they return.

“The situation is just too risky right now,” Henry told reporters.

READ ALSO: Canada will ban cruise ships with over 500 people from docking until July


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruspublic health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read