Social media images of large parties in Vancouver’s downtown on Halloween night, Oct. 31, 2020.

Social media images of large parties in Vancouver’s downtown on Halloween night, Oct. 31, 2020.

VIDEO: Halloween crowds gather in Vancouver despite B.C. top doctor’s plea to avoid parties

Police said large, alcohol fuelled crowds made dispersing people not a practical solution

Hundreds of people gathered on the streets of Vancouver’s downtown on Halloween night despite calls from B.C.’s top doctor to avoid parties.

Videos posted to social media show large groups of people, some wearing masks but many not, and no social distancing, on the Granville strip in the city’s downtown. People appear to be dancing on cars, in the streets and generally not following COVID-19 rules or recommendations. The Granville strip is home to many bars and restaurants that would have shut down at 11 p.m. unless they had a full food menu, having stopped serving alcohol at 10 p.m. per provincial COVID rules.

The partying carried on in the streets despite provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s warnings last week. Her warning came during a week where daily cases have exceed 200. Total cases are now at 14,381, with 2,390 active as of Friday (Oct. 30). The death toll from the pandemic has reached 263 in B.C.

“This Halloween weekend, we need to celebrate in new ways. We need to keep our groups small – in our homes and on the streets,” Henry said during a Thursday (Oct. 29) press conference where she announced 234 new cases and one death, an elderly woman who had caught the virus at child’s birthday party.

Vancouver police Const. Jason Doucette told Black Press Media Sunday (Nov. 1) morning that while police did not yet have a full count of tickets given out, they had extra officers deployed in the area.

“We are disappointed that party-goers did not listen to the advice of our public health officer and chose to gather in large crowds along the Granville Mall,” Doucette said.

The majority of crowds were peaceful, and no injuries were reported, but people who “acted out” were removed from the area.

“Our response has to be reasonable and proportionate to what were faced with at the time,” he said. “Due to a number of factors on Halloween night, physically attempting to disperse the alcohol-fuelled crowd or issue tickets wasn’t appropriate.”

Doucette said there were a “number of arrests” for offences such as causing a disturbance.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHalloweenVancouver

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo submitted
Nesika students donate 2,000 pounds of fresh produce back into community

“Fresh to You” is a fundraising initiative for schools

Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison venture into the Sierra Nevada backcountry for some outlandish ski touring above 14,000 feet. (Christian Pondella photo)
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour goes virtual in lakecity

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is back, despite the global, novel coronavirus pandemic

A convoy of vehicles passes through Heckman Pass on Highway 20 as cleanup operations continued Saturday. Dawson Road Maintenance is asking motorists to watch for crews and equipment working throughout the area. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo/Facebook)
Highway 20 reopens between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola after winter storm Friday

“We appreciate your patience as we continue to clear wood debris and widen sections of the road.”

A memorandum agreement is being signed with between the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Friendship Society for the Longhouse at the Stampede Grounds to be used as temporary emergency shelter if needed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read