More than a dozen COVID-19 cases linked to two York Region weddings, officials say

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VAUGHAN, Ont. — York Region Public Health says there are at least 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to two weddings in Vaughan, Ont., which it says is the third large cluster of cases linked to wedding-related events in the region.

The health unit says the wedding ceremonies, held at separate locations in late October, both had between 130 and 140 attendees, including some guests who attended both.

It says of the known cases, nine attended both wedding ceremonies.

At least 12 cases are linked to a "pre-wedding event" for the first ceremony, while 16 other cases are tied to the second ceremony.

The department says both ceremonies had pre-wedding household gatherings -- one in Markham, Ont., and one in Ajax, Ont. -- and there was a high risk of COVID-19 exposure because of insufficient physical distancing and masking.

The public health unit says it has been in contact with the event venues Chateau le Jardin and Paradise Banquet Hall and has determined that the facilities followed infection control measures.

The weddings took place while York Region was under Ontario's modified Stage 2 restrictions, which limited private events and social gatherings to 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors.

Religious ceremonies -- including weddings, but not receptions -- limited attendance to 30 per cent of the usual capacity.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press