Appeals by Victoria Police Department (VicPD) to avoid large groups in the face of COVID-19 met with indifference, even defiance Friday night.
Officers responding to a noise complaint in Esquimalt Friday night discovered a house party. Officers then told party-goers to go home in explaining the dangers of such gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Bowen Osoko, department spokesperson.
“Some of the party-goers were undeterred, mistakenly believing their youth made them ‘immune’ to the virus,” he said. Police, however, did not make any arrests, he added.
VicPD did not release any information about the size of house party, nor any specifics about its physical environment.
Osoko stressed the “vital importance” of “social and physical distancing” as a precaution in the fight against the pandemic, pointing to appeals from British Columbia’s top doctor, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has also used her powers to take several steps in slowing down the spread of the virus.
They include banning gatherings of more than 50 people, closing dine-in services at all restaurants and securing supply chains and vital supplies. Yesterday, Henry added to these measures by ordering the closure of hair salons, massage therapists and tattoo artists.
Municipalities around Greater Victoria have also closed public buildings, cancelled public gatherings and closed playgrounds.
Henry Saturday announced 76 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 424 cases in British Columbia, with 230 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, 126 cases in Fraser Health Authority, 37 cases in Vancouver Island Health Authority, 27 cases in Interior Health Authority and four cases in Northern Heath Authority.
Ten people have now died of COVID-19 in British Columbia.
The province remains in state of emergency.
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