Three Vancouver police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 after breaking up a party of over 100 people.
In a tweet, Vancouver Police Union president Ralph Kaisers said two entire patrol teams are also off work and self-isolating after officers came in contact with the virus while responding to the "out of control" gathering.
His tweet came in response to Health Minister Adrian Dix's claim that he "can't imagine being more concerned," amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases across B.C.
VPD Const. Tania Visintin confirmed to V.I.A. that three officers have tested positive for the COVID-19, but could not offer any additional information about how they contracted the virus.
She said those who were exposed to the three officers are now self-isolating at home.
The news comes one day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that at least 45 of B.C.'s new COVID-19 cases this week have been linked to private parties in the Metro Vancouver area.
Henry said the number of contacts related to those parties is around 400.
A “good portion” of the 1,518 people currently isolating across B.C. also came in contact with the virus as a result of private events, Henry added.
“It seems to be that there are overlapping social groups that have been to a number of parties…slightly different from what happened in the Interior, but a similar concept,” she said during Thursday's press briefing.
As cases continue to rise, Dix on Thursday spoke directly to those organizing or attending private parties and gatherings when he said, “Enough."
"That’s enough now. Refusing to accept that COVID-19 changes everything – must change everything – puts all of us at risk… Let’s be clear, it’s not the location of the behaviour, it’s the behaviour in the location," he continued.
“Whether it’s table-hopping or packed houseboats or free-for-all parties in a private residence, large groups over an extended time period are the biggest welcome mat there is for COVID-19 and it’s time to stop putting out that welcome mat.”
- With files from Kirsten Clarke