A Victoria resident is paying the consequences of hosting a large party amid the COVID-19 pandemic after police issued him a $2,300 ticket for violating the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA).
On Friday, Aug. 21, VicPD learned that a resident in the 1000-block of Fort Street was planning to host a large party that night. Patrol officers stopped by the apartment around 7 p.m. to speak to the host and warn him about the risks associated with large gatherings.
Later that night, officers returned to the apartment after receiving reports of a noisy party with a large number of attendees. When police arrived at 10:30 p.m., they found about 15 people in the one-bedroom suite. As the gathering posed a health risk and was disturbing neighbours, the host was asked to shut down the party and he agreed to cooperate.
However, the officers stayed nearby and saw more groups of people entering and exiting the apartment building. Police attended the suite for the third time and found about 30 young party-goers inside – none of whom were practising social distancing.
According to a written statement by VicPD, “the room was densely populated, hot and moisture had built up on the windows.”
Police believe between 40 and 60 people attended the party through the evening and the host did not document guests’ information for contact tracing in the event that someone tested positive for COVID-19.
After officers shut down the party, the host was issued a $2,300 ticket for violating the CRMA and ignoring the provincial health officer’s orders regarding gatherings and events. VicPD said a “victim surcharge levy” of $300 was included in the cost of the ticket.
Earlier on Friday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced that the B.C. government was giving police the authority to issue fines of up to $2,000 to those who host large gatherings that violate the provincial health officer’s orders.
VicPD is reminding residents to refrain from hosting or attending large gatherings as police will continue to enforce the CRMA and the provincial health officer’s safety orders.
With files from Tom Fletcher.