B.C.'s top doctor says she wore a mask when she went inside at the BC Lions game but the selfies she posed for were a "bit disconcerting."
Many people expressed frustration with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry after she made a surprise appearance at BC Place stadium for a football game on Thursday (Aug. 19) night.
Several people shared videos of the health officer leaning in for pictures without a face covering. In one of them, she makes a peace sign with both hands in a selfie with two young men and someone is heard yelling "no mask."
In a press briefing Friday, Henry told reporters that most people at the event wore masks when heading outside of the open-air stadium. The retractable stadium roof was also open, which made the game an outdoor rather than indoor event.
Henry noted that everyone in the group she went with was fully vaccinated and that they were cordoned off in a private area, too.
"So there was no need for us to wear a mask in that large open area," she explained, adding that she thought BC Place did a "really good job" of limiting the number of people in the facility and spreading the guests out.
When asked about the congestion on the way out of the game, the health officer said these issues will be addressed but that overall the risk of transmission is lower in larger, open spaces, "particularly if you're in a very small period of time moving around with people."
"The selfie thing was a bit disconcerting, to be honest."
While she stated that people were physically distancing, Henry later admitted that the "selfie thing was a bit disconcerting, to be honest."
B.C.'s top doctor also emphasized that there wasn't any "close contact" and that she asked "every single one of the people who came up and were involved there" if they were vaccinated.
That said, she also emphasized that still wears a mask when she's on public transit, at the grocery store, and in crowded indoor spaces.
"And I think we need to be really careful about sending the wrong messages about mask-wearing, as well," she said.