Fraser Health family throws a dinner party, triggering an outbreak and a stark warning -City News

What does the phase 2 reopening mean for me? 

That’s the question many British Columbians have been grappling with since the province slipped out of the worst days of the pandemic. 

With the last few months having starved many of us of human interaction — the shared meals, laughs and simple comfort of being around friends and family — picking and choosing who gets into our new social bubble has become a tricky balance.

And nowhere have the stakes of that decision been more clear than when provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed yesterday the isolation of an outbreak that erupted at a family dinner in the Fraser Health region, of which the Tri-Cities is a part. 

Of the 30 people at the gathering, 15 had become infected. As CBC’s Justin McElroy recently pointed out on Twitter, we’re at a point in British Columbia “where close to half of all covid cases in the last week are because a family thought a 30-person party where people went inside and outside was a-ok.”

And while that can just as well be read as a sign of how low the province’s caseload has sunk, for Dr. Bonnie Henry, it’s also forewarns of the danger of becoming too complacent. 

“That is a warning sign to us all,” said Henry Tuesday. “It is not that somebody intentionally brings that into their community, to their loved ones, to their family.”

Henry’s warning comes at a time when the virus continues to peak across the globe, ravaging countries like Brazil and Peru, the latter of which took early and decisive action again the pandemic.

More than seven million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the World Health Organization, and over 400,000 deaths. In the countries showing positive cases, complacency is the biggest threat, according to the organization.

But no matter what country the pandemic is raging in, “we are all connected,” Henry said.

“We know from several months ago that it matters to us when something like this happens in China,” she said. “It matters to us when something happens in Italy, in Spain. It matters to us when it happens in the United States and here in Canada.”

“I want everyone to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic around us is far from over.” 

— with files from Glen Korstrom and Cindy E. Harnett

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