VANCOUVER -- Police in B.C.'s capital region say they were called to break up a house party Friday night, despite health officials' warnings that people must maintain physical distance from each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officers from the Victoria Police Department's Esquimalt division were called to a home in the 800 block of Phoenix Street - between Colville and Craigflower roads - just after 10 p.m. Friday, according to a news release.

Police said they were called to respond to a noise complaint and discovered "a group of people having a house party." Officers told the participants to go home and explained the dangers of holding such a gathering during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Some of the party-goers were undeterred, mistakenly believing their youth made them 'immune' to the virus," Victoria police said in their release.

No one was arrested in the incident.

The experience has prompted police to issue a public reminder to maintain physical distance to stop the spread of the virus. Provincial health officials have said everyone in B.C. should be working from home, if possible, and only going out for essential reasons, such as picking up groceries.

Going out for fresh air is also acceptable, provided you maintain physical distance of at least two metres from other people while outside the home.

Health officials have also ordered personal service businesses - such as spas, salons and tattoo parlours - to close, and restaurants are allowed to open for take-out and delivery only, with no dine-in service.

The province has also declared a state of emergency and banned all public gatherings of more than 50 people, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that doesn't mean smaller social gatherings are OK. They should still be avoided, if at all possible, Henry has said.

Both the City of Victoria and Township of Esquimalt have closed public buildings, cancelled public gatherings and closed playgrounds, something Victoria police reminded the public of in their news release.