FILE – Vancouver police officers in Vancouver, on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Three Vancouver police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, connected to a large gathering they had to respond to, according to their union president.

Ralph Kaisers confirmed their diagnosis in a tweet on Friday (Aug. 7). He said that two patrol teams are also in self-isolation due to possible exposure.

Black Press Media reached out to the Vancouver Police Department for details about the party, which Kaiser described as “out of control.” A spokesperson said in an email that they didn’t know any details about the party.

In recent days, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have issued pleas for people to stop attending and organizing large gatherings as daily case counts surge.

Health officials have recommended that people keep their pandemic bubbles small – to a consistent group of close friends and families.

ALSO READ: 53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

But since Canada Day, as B.C. entered Phase Three in its economic restart plan, a number of private parties have been linked to community clusters.

Henry told reporters in mid-July, that contact tracing showed 20 possible transmissions for every test-positive case linked to private hotel parties in Kelowna where a number of young people contracted the virus.

Shortly after, organizers of a drumming circle held at a Vancouver beach were under fire when videos and photos of the event showed dozens of people crowded and failing to physically distance.

On Thursday, Henry confirmed that at least 45 recent cases of COVID-19 were linked to private parties in Metro Vancouver.

“Even though they may have been smaller individual parties, the overlapping groups meant that there’s a large number of people that were potentially exposed,” she told reporters.

Dix called for British Columbians to stop attending parties and participating in events where the virus can be easily transmitted.

“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.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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