B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speak at a press conference regarding COVID-19. The province has banned all public events of 250 people or more, a situation that has forced the cancellation or postponement of performances at all of Victoria’s main entertainment venues. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: Greater Victoria sports, entertainment venues affected after province bans large gatherings

Health officials take new measures to combat spread of novel coronavirus

The B.C. government has placed a ban on all events with more than 250 people amid growing concerns around the spread of COVID-19.

“We have to do our best to slow transmissions here in British Columbia,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a daily briefing about the coronavirus on Thursday. The news came as the province confirmed seven more people infected with the novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the total to 53 cases and one death.

“We are looking at event organizers – whether it’s community events, whether it’s large events – to look at alternatives they can use to keep that connectedness and social cohesiveness,” Henry said.

The Civic Orchestra of Victoria has cancelled its March 14 performance after Thursday’s announcement by the province.

The move has forced cancellation of numerous arts, entertainment and sporting events in Greater Victoria, effectively immediately.

The Royal and McPherson Theatre Society, operators of two of the city’s largest performance venues, posted an announcement on its website Thursday night informing patrons that both its theatres were closed to the public until further notice. It stated that ticket holders would be contacted in the coming days about their options. Similar themed notices from other community arts groups, from theatres to musical groups, followed in the hours after the provincial announcement.

Ticket holders for any event scheduled for the coming days and weeks in a facility that holds 250 or more people is advised to check the venue’s website or call them for up to date information.

RELATED STORY: Capital City Comic Con postponed due to COVID-19

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a pandemic. Since then, major sports organizations, such as the NHL and NBA, have postponed games until further notice. Larger events, including the TC10K, Vancouver Auto Show and Vancouver Sun Run have also been cancelled.

B.C. health officials are also recommending people don’t travel outside Canada.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday that B.C. residents have a choice whether they want to risk going to the U.S. or another country, but if they do they should expect to be in isolation for 14 days when they return.

“The situation is just too risky right now,” Henry told reporters.

READ ALSO: Canada will ban cruise ships with over 500 people from docking until July


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruspublic health

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

Just Posted

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

Victoria News helps celebrate our high school grads

Share your greeting, contact the publisher before June 12 at 5 p.m.

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Second bear sighting in a week at View Royal neighbourhood

West Shore RCMP warns residents to not approach black bears

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Most Read