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VCH warns of COVID-19 exposure at Wreck Beach

It is asking people who were at the beach on the specified dates to monitor themselves for symptoms.
A gathering the evening of Saturday, August 15 at Wreck Beach in Vancouver. Photo: @megamouthmedia/Twitter

Vancouver Coastal Health is notifying people who visited Wreck Beach that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 earlier this month.

On its public exposures page, the agency lists a warning for Wreck Beach, located at  Southwest Marine Drive, at the top of its current exposures. 

If you visited the beach during the times of possible exposure, it does not mean you will develop COVID-19. The possible exposures are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, Public Health asks anyone who may have visited the location listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms:

  • Potential exposure date: Aug. 15

  • Potential exposure time: All day

There is no known risk to anyone who attended any listed locations outside of the specified dates and times. If people remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and people can continue with their usual daily activities. 

If you have been identified as a COVID-19 case or close contact, please know that VCH Public Health will contact you directly and provide further instruction.

If you have no symptoms, testing is not recommended because it is not accurate or useful. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, please seek testing and immediately self-isolate. Please call ahead and wear a mask when seeking testing.

A video shared to Twitter in mid-August shows what appears to be a large crowd - with little to no social distancing - gathered at the popular beach.

"Guess no one cares about the Covid or social distancing at Wreck Beach!!" writes Twitter user @punkrokk65 to caption their footage shared on August 15.

COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when a person who is sick coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread when a healthy person touches an object or surface (e.g. a doorknob or a table) with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands. Most people who get COVID-19 have only mild disease, but a few people can get very sick and may need to go to hospital. The symptoms of COVID-19 may include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell and/or diarrhea.

- With files from Lindsay William-Ross.