Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, B.C. Liberal health critic, poses questions to Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a video town hall May 11, 2020. (Youtube)

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, B.C. Liberal health critic, poses questions to Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a video town hall May 11, 2020. (Youtube)

COVID-19: Forget big weddings this summer, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Too soon to draw link between child illness and coronavirus

As B.C. prepares to relax some of its COVID-19 restrictions on business and small personal gatherings, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is warning people not to exceed 50 people for a summer wedding.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix took questions at a video town hall hosted by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick in the evening of May 11. One of the questions from a constituent was about having a wedding in a restaurant that has approval for up to 75 people under B.C.’s soon-to-expand business restrictions.

Henry was emphatic that while a restaurant may be able to manage independent small groups at widely spaced tables, a single wedding party is not the same thing and carries much greater risk of virus transmission.

“You know, I can’t see a wedding where people keep their distance,” Henry said. “If you’re going to have a wedding, it definitely has to be under 50. If it’s outdoors you can space people apart, that’s good, but we don’t want buffets, because we know those are places where you can also contract the virus.”

Older guests and those with health conditions that increase their risk should participate by video link, she added.

(Link to Youtube video of town hall, Henry discusses weddings at 50-minute mark. Other B.C. Restart Plan video town halls are in the works, and will be listed here when they are scheduled.)

Letnick also passed on a question about COVID-19 risk to children, disclosing that he has already expanded his personal “bubble” to include his grandchildren. Henry noted that her guidance is to wait until after the Victoria Day long weekend to begin that and other “phase two” changes to pandemic restrictions.

“Guilty as charged,” Letnick said.

RELATED: Avoid non-essential boating, South Okanagan RCMP say

RELATED: A phase-by-phase look at reopening B.C. society

The constituent’s question related to reports from New York and the U.K. that children have developed illness. Henry said not all of those cases have been children testing positive for COVID-19, it tends to be older children and there are other viruses that can be involved.

“There’s a lot we still don’t know,” Henry said. “It has come to light very recently that some children may contract an inflammatory condition that’s very similar to something we’ve known about for a long time, called Kawasaki disease. And it’s not clear yet if it’s related to COVID-19 or not, but it could be. It is a condition that we’ve seen that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, it can cause red eyes, conjunctivitis [pink eye], a skin rash, sometimes swelling of the tongue, and some children can get quite sick with it.”

With more children returning to classroom education after the long weekend, to work out routines for full school operation in the fall, the question of wearing non-medical masks also came up at the town hall.

Henry said masks are good for short trips to a store, to protect other people from your droplets, they are not effective protection to be worn all day at school or elsewhere.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Expect cold weather and snow over the weekend. (Submitted photo)
Prepare for subzero weekend in South Okanagan

Expect some snow to start falling Saturday night and into Sunday

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near Penticton schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Sanders was dressed for the cold weather in Penticton Friday, as he made time to check out one of the city’s iconic landmarks. (Parkers Chrysler / Facebook)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spotted in Penticton

Sanders seems to have developed a taste for local craft beer

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read