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

An officer fills up back of a police car with toys. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy RCMP give back to local community members in need

“We leave,” says Voller “but a piece of our hearts stays in each community we served in.”

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Hecht Beach cabin in ashes. (Submitted)
Beloved secret cabin lost to fire on the North Island’s west coast

The trappers cabin was shared with locals, but kept mostly secret

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

Michelle Lau with donations that have already been contributed for families kept away from home due to the Town Park Apartments fire. (Zoe Ducklow Photo)
Fundraiser started for tenants left hanging after apartment fire

Tenants not allowed back in to get personal items, so in need of clothes, food, gift cards

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read