Approximately one in four British Columbians between the ages of 20-49 who contracted COVID-19 over the summer caught the virus through parties and private events or attending restaurants, bars and/or lounges.

According to new data from the provincial government, between June 24 to September 1 BC saw a significant rise occurred in cases among young adults, with many traced back to newly-opened businesses and gatherings.

British Columbians aged 20 to 29 saw the largest jump in cases during this time period, with 573 individuals contracting COVID-19, of a total of 1,693 cases.

The age group with the smallest amount of cases in the same time period was between 70 to 79 years old, with only 50 cases.

COVID-19 table on source
(Province of BC)

Of those who caught the virus from June 24 to September 1 between the ages of 20 to 29, approximately one in four were traced back to a private event, or from attending a restaurant, bar or lounge.

Roughly the same proportion of cases among people aged 30-39 were also traced back to private parties or dining establishments and bars.

Slightly smaller numbers of cases among people aged 40-49 were traced back to similar sources.

At a Thursday briefing on COVID-19 provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that “there’s been a lot of high profile discussion about private parties” but pointed out that cases have also been traced back to the workplace and receive less attention.

“While some of the larger outbreaks have been reported publicly in workplaces, many of the smaller ones where we are able to find everybody aren’t in the public eye in the same way,” said Dr. Henry.

“There’s been calls from some people [that] the answer to everything is to close down the bars and restaurants. I want to put it out that there’s many different settings that we are having transmission.”