Meetings of 50 people should be “scaled down” according to space: Dr. Henry

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As British Columbia hit a new record for daily COVID-19 cases today, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health administrator, urged British Columbians to keep their social bubbles small.Specifically, Henry addressed the 50-person limit on rallies that was implemented in March.

“One of the things that’s really important right now is the restrictions we have on gatherings. And we have maintained a constant and consistent approach of no more than 50 people, ”she said at a press conference today.

“It’s another protective layer to contain the spread. This means fewer people, so when someone inadvertently introduces the virus into your people collection… it can’t spread too widely. ”

However, Henry said it is clear that the virus is spreading, even in small groups, and as a result “we all need to step back and reassess.”

She went on to say when gatherings of 50 people are allowed.

“It’s very important to remember that 50 people is an upper limit and only where you have the space to do it to maintain safe distances,” she said.

The current provincial decree on gatherings and events emphasizes that events of 50 people are only allowed if a number of guidelines can be followed, including sufficient space for patrons to maintain a distance of two meters from them. each other and a limit of six clients. at each table, even if they belong to the same party.

Henry stressed that gatherings should be “scaled down” depending on the space in which they take place.

“I need everyone to understand this now,” she said. “Whether indoors or outdoors, it is important to maintain safe distances. It’s important to keep your numbers small. “

Just the fact that you can fit 50 in your space “doesn’t make it safe”

For those who think they can host a gathering of 50 people in the courtyards or their gardens, Henry says think twice.

“The fact that you can accommodate 50 people in your little back garden doesn’t make it safe. And that’s where we see the transmission, and we see the transmission to the people we care about, and now we are seeing the fallout on people like grandparents, like elders who are more likely to have a. serious illness from COVID-19, ”she said.

“We are in a global pandemic, and these are the sacrifices that we must make.”

Using an example of how businesses limit the number of occupants based on their size, Henry said the same logic should be applied to the exterior and interior of our homes. “No matter where we are, when we socialize with others, little ones are always safer,” she says.

Stick to the same six

As British Columbia prepares for respiratory season, Henry says British Columbians need to step back and “stay with six” people in the same bubble when socializing.

Seeing different friends on different days is a “continuous source of transmission that we now see in our communities,” she said, adding that the tradeoffs people have to make is to see fewer family members and ‘friends, for the moment.

“The tradeoff is that our small groups also have to be the same small groups.”

“The restrictions and precautions that we have put in place here do not last forever. But they are needed now. By taking a step back now, we can protect those who are most vulnerable and we can keep those we care about safe. ”

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