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B.C. nightclubs, banquet halls ordered closed as efforts to slow COVID-19 spread continue

All nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls in B.C. have been ordered closed until further notice.

Those are the words of provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry after a spike in COVID-19 cases over the long weekend.

Dr. Henry says a lot of time and public health resources have been spent on contact tracing connected to these venues.

“(That’s) because people, whether it’s a private party, whether it’s at a banquet hall, whether it’s in a nightclub are typically not connected to each other, and it’s extremely time-consuming to find people.”

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In addition, liquor sales in all bars, pubs, and restaurants must cease at 10:00pm and these venues must close at 11:00pm unless they are providing full meal service.

If that’s the case, meal service can continue but no alcohol can be served.

On top of that, music and TVs must be turned down to the volume of normal conversation. That, Dr. Henry says, will make it easier for people to speak loudly or shout or have close contact with each other.

Dr. Henry said issuing orders is the province’s last resort: “And we have spent quite a lot of time working with industry, within the banquet halls, in the nightclubs, to try and put in measures that will protect people from this virus.”

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She said they’ve managed to do that through the summer but as B.C.’s cases climb, and as we move into flu season in the fall “we need to make some changes to reduce the risks in these environments.”

The province reported 429 new cases over the past four days, for a total of 6,591 cases in B.C.

That includes four new cases on Vancouver Island, bringing the total to 184.

The province is also confirming 12 epi-linked cases since Friday. 

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Epi-linked means the person was never tested but is presumed to have the virus because they developed symptoms and were close contacts of a confirmed case.

There are 1,386 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,063 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 4,978 people who tested positive have recovered. 

As well, 32 individuals are hospitalized, 12 of whom are in ICU.

There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 213 deaths in British Columbia. 

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Here is the list of cases by region:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health – 2,249
  • Fraser Health – 3,428
  • Vancouver Island – 184
  • Interior Health – 460
  • Northern Health – 186
  • Outside Canada – 84
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