Published Friday, September 11, 2020 8:47AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 11, 2020 8:51AM EDT
“There are rules and laws and what we actually should be doing and they sort of overlap,” Bogoch said during an interview with CP24 on Friday morning.
Under Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan, the Ontario government has permitted outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people and indoor gatherings of 50.
But some people, including Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, have questioned whether those limits need to be scaled back amid an uptick in cases linked to large social gatherings.
“I don't think 50 people is the goal, 50 people is the maximum. That shouldn't be your target,” Bogoch said.
“And really, truly, if we want to be honest about this with ourselves, the fewer the people that gather together in an indoor setting the better.”
Bogoch noted that the virus transmits more easily in indoor spaces and in reality, some don’t always closely follow masking and distancing rules when socializing with friends and family.
“Even if you have a few people that are in an indoor setting together, if they are not in your bubble, you should definitely be wearing masks, and you should definitely be spread apart by two metres,” he said.
“If you are having a party or having people over, that often means that there is food and drinks. We know what happens if there are alcohol beverages involved, sometimes we do not adhere to those two-metre principles.”
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has acknowledged that there may be an issue with people not adhering to current guidelines when socializing but has dismissed the suggestion that there should be stricter limits on allowable gatherings.
“We'll watch that if we have to push back on that. But we have a number of retailers that are undertaking to do that 50 indoors and 100 outdoors, that are putting a lot of steps and processes to ensure that they're doing that safely, and totally respecting the public measures and we don't think we have to punish them for that,” Dr. David Williams said on Thursday. “There is a balance there.”
Despite provincial rules, Bogoch said people would be wise to avoid large indoor gatherings.
“I'd stick within the bubble and that's probably the safest way forward,” he said.
The province currently allows up to 10 people to be part of the same social bubble where they are not required to physically distance from one another. Everyone who resides in the same household is part of the same social circle.
Bogoch noted that Canadians are well-equipped to spend time outdoors during all seasons and encouraged people to continue to meet up outside as the colder weather approaches.
“We can be outside, comfortably. We can dress for it,” he said.
“I still think outdoor environments are far safer than indoor environments. There is great data to suggest that and if you can be outdoors regardless of the season that is way safer.”