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B.C.'s top doctor bans house gatherings – except for family and 'your safe six'

Dr. Bonnie Henry's newest public health order was announced the same day the province recorded its largest three-day total increase in COVID-19 cases
Photo: Shutterstock / Syda Productions

On the day B.C. recorded its largest three-day total increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, the province's top doctor has issued a new public health order.

Household gatherings are now limited to immediate household members and six additional people, Dr. Bonnie Henry outlined during Monday’s COVID-19 press briefing.

She attributed recent heightened rates of COVID-19 transmission, in part, to social gatherings held recently in private homes.

Currently, an event ban caps gatherings in the province at 50 people.

By cracking down on private gatherings in houses Henry is acknowledging that attending events with less than 50 people is not always safe.

"We need to pay more attention to those settings where we have people coming together for celebrations," she emphasized.

Henry said that for some homes, the new six-guest limit might still be too large of a number.

“We know the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people," she said, noting the challenge the order will present for smaller households.

"But this is something we need to do as a community," Henry urged.

"We need to buckle down and continue to do our part to get through these next few months,” the doctor stressed.

Health officials announced 817 new COVID-19 cases Monday, from a three-day period.