(Stock photo)

BC’s Provincial Health Officer has announced a new health order under the Public Health Act after a record high number of COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend.

In a media availability on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that private gatherings will be limited to the members of the immediate household plus a “safe six” — six more people who are in their social bubble.

See also: B.C. reports record high 817 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, three additional deaths

Between Saturday, October 24 and Monday, October 26, there were 817 reported cases of novel coronavirus in the province, most of which were reported in the Fraser Health region.

According to Henry, these record-breaking numbers are mostly attributed to virus transmission at large private gatherings in households.

These include weddings, funerals, celebrations, and also large family gatherings over Thanksgiving weekend.

The new provincial health order will be enforceable by bylaw officers, police officers, and environmental health officers.

Members of the public who witness a private residence hosting a large gathering can report it to these officers in the same way that they would report a noise complaint, said Henry.

In addition to this new order, the provincial health officer added that the use of non-medical face masks in indoor, public spaces is expected.

She has not, however, issued an order making the use of masks mandatory.

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