‘This is very serious’: Officials urge to people to practice social distancing amid COVID-19 pandemic

WatchAs Canada still hasn't taken emergency measures to force people to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria residents are worried that some people still aren't practicing social distancing. Jasmine Bala has more.

Stay at home, isolate and practice social distancing. That’s the message that even the kids are calling for.

“If you’re a kid, it’s lower symptoms, but it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still get it and get really sick, so just stay at home,” said 10-year-old Griffin Simpson, while he and his younger brother held a sign on their front porch with the phrase “stay at home” etched in big, bold letters.

It’s also the same message that the country’s top health official has been urging Canadians to take seriously as Canada attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is very serious, and just because you’re not feeling the illness or you don’t have, necessarily, in your community, even one case, what we’re trying to do so diligently together,  at all levels of government, is prevent this disease from spreading toward other communities and everybody has a part to play in that,” said federal health minister, Patty Hajdu, during a press conference on Sunday.

“People need to take this seriously,” Hajdu added.

But despite all of the messaging and warnings, not everyone is taking social distancing seriously.

On Friday night, Victoria Police were called to a loud house party in Esquimalt. The party was broken up due to a noise complaint but Bowen Osoko, acting spokesperson for the VicPD, said the party-goers weren’t keeping two metres of space between each other.

“When people have those unnecessary gatherings, where they’re getting together, when they’re potentially exposing themselves and others to COVID-19, then our officers have to respond,” said Osoko,, adding. “They’re potentially exposing our officers and then other people in the community to this virus, which is something that we certainly don’t want.”

The new social distancing rules aren’t something Victoria police are enforcing right now, because the province has not authorized them to do so.

But while police in British Columbia aren’t able to enforce social distancing, officers in Nova Scotia can.

The province, which just declared a state of emergency, recently granted its officers the ability to enforce orders related to self-isolation and social distancing.

Individuals who violate those orders can be fined $1,000 per violation.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!