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)

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

Sidney Pier was one of two sites in Sidney as the Netflix series Maid shot in Sidney in late 2020. The show starring Margaret Qualley was one of 38 productions shooting in Greater Victoria. (Bob Orchard/Submitted)
Head of Greater Victoria film commission warns of lost economic opportunity

Kathleen Gilbert said without full funding, region will not be able to attract productions

New population estimates peg the population of Greater Victoria at 408,883 as of July 1, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Population estimates peg Greater Victoria’s population at 408,883

New estimates show regional population grew by 1.35 per cent

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read