Video shows large party, no physical distancing in Vancouver Island neighbourhood
VICTORIA -- People living in a Saanich neighbourhood are outraged and concerned after a massive group of young people gathered together and were not following physical distancing rules on Friday night.
A video capturing the incident was sent to CTV News Vancouver Island and shows upwards of 100 people, many appearing to be teenagers, gathered on a street.
Sarah Wakefield said she looked outside at about 10 p.m. to see a sprawling crowd walking by her house.
“They just kept coming along the sidewalk and spilling into the street,” she said. “Stopping to yell-talk at each other in front of our house in clusters of 10 to 30 on either side of the street.”
The person who filmed the video, who asked not to be identified by name, said there was a party that got shut down and everyone gathered at Northridge Elementary School.
In the video, one person can be heard saying, “Record me! Record me!” At the end of the video, another youth can be heard approaching the person filming, saying, “I’m sorry.”
“I have lived here over 11 years, and never have I seen this type of gathering, so to hear and see it during this COVID era was extremely disheartening,” said Wakefield.
Wakefield said this isn’t the first time this has happened. A large group also gathered in the neighbourhood last weekend, she said.
“I am hoping the authorities can help come up with the solution,” she said. “There is a lot of summer left, and I am not looking forward to next Friday night.”
CTV News has reached out to Saanich Police and is awaiting a response.
B.C.’s health officials have blamed crowded parties and nightclubs for some of the recent spread of COVID-19 through the province.
Premier John Horgan said on Wednesday young people need to understand that now is not the time to go to large parties, and called on B.C.-based celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen to help spread the message.
In a message posted on Twitter Friday, Reynolds reached out to Horgan, addressing the premier’s request for help spreading his COVID-19 message.
Reynolds addressed young people partying in B.C., calling it dangerous, and saying they probably don't know that thousands of young people are getting sick and some are dying.
Wakefield asks for people to help their community stay safe, and said she wants this stopped before another party happens on her street.