Order of the Provincial Health Officer

Below is the information about the Provincial Health Officer’s recent order related to COVID-19. Link to the full document


ORDER OF THE PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER
(Pursuant to Sections 30, 31, 32 and 39 (3) Public Health Act, S.B.C. 2008)

GATHERINGS AND EVENTS
The Public Health Act is at:
http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/content/complete/statreg/08028/?xsl=/templates/browse.xsl
(excerpts enclosed)
TO: OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF BANQUET HALLS
TO: OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF VACATION ACCOMMODATION
TO: OCCUPANTS OF VACATION ACCOMMODATION AND GUESTS
TO: OWNERS AND OCCUPANTS OF PRIVATE RESIDENCES AND GUESTS
TO: OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF PLACES, INCLUDING PREMISES SUBJECT
TO THE FOOD AND LIQUOR SERVING PREMISES ORDER
TO: PERSONS WHO ORGANIZE EVENTS
TO: PERSONS WHO ATTEND EVENTS
TO: MEDICAL HEALTH OFFICERS


WHEREAS:

  1. On March 17, 2020 I provided notice under section 52 (2) of the Public Health Act that the
    transmission of the infectious agent SARS-CoV-2, which has caused cases and outbreaks
    of a serious communicable disease known as COVID-19 among the population of the
    Province of British Columbia, constitutes a regional event as defined in section 51 of the
    Public Health Act;
  2. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, an infectious agent, can cause outbreaks of COVID-19;
  3. A person infected with SARS-CoV-2 can infect other people with whom the infected
    person is in direct contact, through droplets in the air, or from fluid containing SARS-CoV2 left on surfaces;
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  4. The gathering of people in close contact with one another can promote the transmission of
    SARS-CoV-2 and increase the number of people who develop COVID-19 and become
    seriously ill;
  5. Social mingling coupled with the consumption of alcohol which increases risky behavior,
    and/or the presence of loud background sound which causes people to move closer together
    to be heard or to speak more forcefully, is associated with significant increases in the
    transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and increases the number of people who develop COVID19 and become seriously ill;
  6. With schools and post-secondary institutions operating and the change of seasons bringing
    cooler weather, people are interacting more and spending more time indoors which
    increases the risk of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the population thereby increasing
    the number of people who develop COVID-19 and become seriously ill;
  7. Seasonal and other celebrations in private residences have resulted in the transmission of
    SARS-CoV-2 and increases in the number of people who develop COVID-19 and become
    seriously ill;
  8. For certainty, this Order does not apply to health care related events such as immunization
    clinics, health authority COVID-19 testing centres and blood donation clinics; court
    sittings wherever they occur; workers at a worksite when engaged in their work activities;
    workers living at a work camp; students, teachers or instructors at a school or postsecondary educational institution when engaged in educational activities; individuals
    attending regularly scheduled classes or practices in a recreation centre, pool or fitness
    facility; customers in a mall or retail establishment when engaged in shopping activities or
    seeking services; individuals attending an episodic vending market such as a Farmers
    Market or a Community Market which is subject to the Vending Markets Order;
    individuals in a campground or any other place when not attending an event; or the use of
    any place for municipal, provincial or federal election purposes.
  9. For further certainty, this Order applies to private residences, private clubs and meetings or
    conferences held in hotels or any other place.
  10. I have reason to believe and do believe that
    (i) the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 among the public constitutes a health hazard
    under the Public Health Act;
    (ii) because the risk of outbreaks resulting from the gathering of people and attendance
    at events extends beyond the authority of one or more medical health officers and
    coordinated action is needed to protect the public from contracting COVID-19, it is
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    in the public interest for me to exercise the powers in sections 30, 31, 32 and 39 (3)
    of the Public Health Act TO ORDER as follows:
    THIS ORDER REPEALS AND REPLACES MY ORDER OF OCTOBER 9, 2020 WITH
    RESPECT TO GATHERINGS AND EVENTS AND CONFIRMS MY ORAL ORDER OF
    OCTOBER 26, 2020 LIMITING THE NUMBER OF PERSONS IN ADDITION TO THE
    OCCUPANTS WHO MAY GATHER IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE