With COVID-19 cases rising at an alarming rate in B.C., the province’s public safety minister announced new policing measures, including $2,000 fines, to dissuade people from hosting or organizing parties that can spread the virus.
“Over the past few weeks there is a small minority of selfish individuals across the province who are disregarding the public health measures,” said Mike Farnworth. “Enough is enough…These actions could cost people their lives, that’s why stricter enforcement is necessary.” Health Authorities are particularly concerned about such “partiers” spreading the virus to their unwitting families and communities, especially older generations and the vulnerable.
The new rules apply to house parties, beach gatherings or anywhere else where people are getting together in large numbers and not following proper virus safety protocols. You could also get a fine for hosting a public event with under the allowed 50 people and not keeping contact information for people who show up.
“Just because your party has less than 50 people does not make it legal,” he said.
There will also be smaller fines of $200 for people who don’t follow safety protocols at restaurants or bars. Businesses that don’t comply could lose their liquor licenses.
“But facing media questions, it is not clear, in some instances, what constitutes a violation, nor is it clear the body of evidence that supports these new enforcement measures,” wrote the Pique newsmagazine. “Farnworth was not able to provide data on how many cases of COVID-19 have occurred as a result of explicit violations of public health orders. Nor did he provide any data on violations of orders related to limits on vacation accommodations, put in place last month.”
As of August 21, 2020 there have been 4,915 coronavirus cases in British Columbia, with 820 active cases, including 90 new cases today. There have been 122 cases in the North Health region, including 16 that are classified as active.
The greatest number of infections in B.C. are currently found among young adults aged 20-29 years and 30-39 years.