A group of people protesting COVID-19 health measures marched Saturday on Baker Street.
The event called the Choose Freedom Rally advertised its support for medical freedom, informed consent, unbiased journalism, privacy rights, transparent science and the opening of the economy.
Participants of all ages did not wear masks during the event. Instead, they held signs that called the virus fake, criticized provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, suggested government safety measures were propaganda spread by media organizations, and chanted about what they perceived as an attack on personal freedoms.
The event occurred as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in B.C.
Ten cases were made public last week in Salmo, and on Monday the provincial government announced 1,959 new cases in B.C. had been confirmed between Friday and Monday.
In an email to the Nelson Star, a spokesperson for Interior Health urged the public to take the pandemic seriously.
“Now more than ever, it is important for everyone to be following all public health guidance and direction. This includes avoiding any larger gatherings,” said the spokesperson.
“We are urging everyone to keep to your household bubbles, stay home when you are sick and get tested if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, practise physical distancing and use a mask if you cannot, and continue to wash your hands often.
“Interior Health hopes that the public will rely on trusted and accurate public health information, such as that provided regularly by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Interior Health medical health officers and the BC Centre for Disease Control.”
There have been 299 deaths related to COVID-19 in B.C., and 10,953 such deaths in Canada as of Nov. 15, according to Health Canada.