No COVID-19 cases connected to huge Vancouver protests against anti-Black racism
However, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns that large outdoor parties have led to transmission in the U.S.
B.C. has seen zero cases of COVID-19 linked to massive protests against anti-Black racism and police violence, according to the provincial health officer.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that her counterparts in other parts of North America have reported similar results after weeks of rallies that drew thousands of people.
"We follow up every single case here in B.C.," Henry said. "The short answer is no … currently we do not have any cases that have been associated with the protests that took place."
Vancouver's largest protests were held on June 5 and June 19, which means the maximum incubation period of 14 days for the novel coronavirus has ended.
While those rallies were still in the planning stages, Henry had suggested organizers consider holding virtual events or smaller protests to prevent the spread of the disease.
Watch | Dr. Bonnie Henry says there is something "inherently different" about the risk of COVID-19 from outdoor beach parties versus mass protests:
Now, she says there are likely a few reasons why there hasn't been a surge in infections, including that protests were held outdoors for relatively short periods of time, most demonstrators tried to maintain safe physical distances from each other, and many protesters wore masks.
But Henry said officials in the U.S. have noted transmission of the virus connected to other large outdoor gatherings — particularly parties on the beach.
"That was surprising. I think many of us thought there would be a similar risk," she said.
"There's something inherently different in what you're doing in a group of people partying on a beach versus what we've been seeing with some of these protests."
Henry said it remains clear that the surest way to transmit COVID-19 is through sustained, face-to-face contact with other people.