British Columbia

Don't expect any big graduation parties or concerts this summer, B.C.'s top doctor says

B.C.'s provincial health officer says she doesn't expect to lift the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people this summer, and warns the province will be doing things "differently" for the next year.

Dr. Bonnie Henry warns, 'we're going to be doing things differently for a year'

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says she's 'really looking forward to a really big party' once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

B.C.'s provincial health officer says she doesn't expect to lift the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people this summer, and warns the province will be doing things "differently" for the next year.

During her daily briefing Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said there are still a lot of unknowns about what summer will look like for B.C. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

"I can't foresee everything. I can say it's unlikely we're going to have concerts or major big events. I do not see lifting the order on mass gatherings," she said.

"We know we've had lots of cases associated with, if you look around the world, large events like concerts, like sporting events, like conferences. Those types of things are not going to happen this summer."

More personal events like weddings and graduation parties might still be possible, but they could look very different.

Henry said these can't be large gatherings of people, because every guest has the potential of spreading the novel coronavirus to many others, who in turn can spread it to their families.

Instead, these milestone occasions might be marked only with close family in attendance and other guests brought in virtually.

"We're going to be doing things differently for a year. Doesn't mean that we have to give up everything and that we're going to be in the same place we are now," Henry said.

She said there is some hope B.C. will be able to loosen some restrictions in the coming months, but large-scale events will likely remain out of the question.

"Once we get to that point in a year or 18 months or whenever, I'm really looking forward to a really big party," she said.

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