Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, B.C. Liberal health critic, poses questions to Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a video town hall May 11, 2020. (Youtube)

COVID-19: Forget big weddings this summer, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Too soon to draw link between child illness and coronavirus

As B.C. prepares to relax some of its COVID-19 restrictions on business and small personal gatherings, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is warning people not to exceed 50 people for a summer wedding.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix took questions at a video town hall hosted by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick in the evening of May 11. One of the questions from a constituent was about having a wedding in a restaurant that has approval for up to 75 people under B.C.’s soon-to-expand business restrictions.

Henry was emphatic that while a restaurant may be able to manage independent small groups at widely spaced tables, a single wedding party is not the same thing and carries much greater risk of virus transmission.

“You know, I can’t see a wedding where people keep their distance,” Henry said. “If you’re going to have a wedding, it definitely has to be under 50. If it’s outdoors you can space people apart, that’s good, but we don’t want buffets, because we know those are places where you can also contract the virus.”

Older guests and those with health conditions that increase their risk should participate by video link, she added.

(Link to Youtube video of town hall, Henry discusses weddings at 50-minute mark. Other B.C. Restart Plan video town halls are in the works, and will be listed here when they are scheduled.)

Letnick also passed on a question about COVID-19 risk to children, disclosing that he has already expanded his personal “bubble” to include his grandchildren. Henry noted that her guidance is to wait until after the Victoria Day long weekend to begin that and other “phase two” changes to pandemic restrictions.

“Guilty as charged,” Letnick said.

RELATED: Avoid non-essential boating, South Okanagan RCMP say

RELATED: A phase-by-phase look at reopening B.C. society

The constituent’s question related to reports from New York and the U.K. that children have developed illness. Henry said not all of those cases have been children testing positive for COVID-19, it tends to be older children and there are other viruses that can be involved.

“There’s a lot we still don’t know,” Henry said. “It has come to light very recently that some children may contract an inflammatory condition that’s very similar to something we’ve known about for a long time, called Kawasaki disease. And it’s not clear yet if it’s related to COVID-19 or not, but it could be. It is a condition that we’ve seen that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, it can cause red eyes, conjunctivitis [pink eye], a skin rash, sometimes swelling of the tongue, and some children can get quite sick with it.”

With more children returning to classroom education after the long weekend, to work out routines for full school operation in the fall, the question of wearing non-medical masks also came up at the town hall.

Henry said masks are good for short trips to a store, to protect other people from your droplets, they are not effective protection to be worn all day at school or elsewhere.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Former Grand Forks fire chief suing city for wrongful dismissal

Dale Heriot was fired in July 2019 after his department was investigated for safety, bullying issues

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary seeks online feedback on transit, housing

Surveys on the RDKB’s website are asking for input to help plan for the future

School District 51 staff iron out plan for return to classrooms

Teachers are looking for a comprehensive health and safety plan to be in place before June 1

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read