Vancouver residents are being reminded ahead of Halloween that reports of large gatherings or parties, which are not allowed under a new COVID-19 rules, should be reported to 311 and not 911.
This follows an order this week from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry limiting gatherings in private residences to the household members plus six others within the household’s bubble. B.C.’s cases have been going up, with more than 200 cases reported a day for more than a week.
Health officials have said most of the new cases are in the Fraser Health Authority, and are linked to social gatherings such as weddings, celebrations of life, and holidays.
Vancouver police said they are asking residents to keep 911 lines free for emergencies and to call 311 if there is a large gathering. The VPD has issued two tickets on the order, one to a host of a party and the other to an individual for failure to comply.
Meantime, in the last month the city of Vancouver has received hundreds of complaints on 311 about the pandemic, including 130 complaints of too many people being inside a business, 120 calls about house parties, 61 complaints about gatherings exceeding 50 people.
Thirty-three callers complained about people promoting parties or gatherings, three were upset about banquet halls being open, and 16 called to complain about people not adhering to social distancing measures.
There were also 160 other pandemic-related calls. Of those 49 had to do with too many people gathering together.
For more on this, read How do I have a Safe Halloween?