If you’re a bit confused about BC’s new holiday gathering orders, you’re not alone.
Health officials announced sweeping changes to British Columbia’s public health law on Tuesday (December 21) following the surge in coronavirus cases in the province.
Residents may not attend organized indoor gatherings, regardless of size, but they may have up to 10 other people or another household in their home, but that doesn’t mean they should. .
Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry told reporters at a press briefing on Friday morning that people should ultimately try to keep their gatherings as small as possible to minimize the risk of transmission.
While people can choose to have 10 people from 10 different households in their home, Henry stressed that’s “not a recommendation” and that health officials “want people to stay small.” That said, she also noted that “there are groups of people who have close ties. It can be siblings and family who come from different homes.”
The maximum number of people is 10, but the health worker said people need to think about how they can reduce the risk. However, it is paramount to all considerations whether or not they feel sick, even if their symptoms are mild.
“Right now people have to be wondering if I have any symptoms, even if I think it’s just the sniffles or the cold that I don’t want to be with my new nephew or niece or that I don’t want to be with my grandparents or people who might have a more serious illness if they got sick from it,” she explained.
“If you have symptoms. Stay away from gatherings at this time. Keep these groups small. If there’s anyone with immunocompromised conditions, people going through cancer treatment, you know, find ways to connect with family and close friends in ways that won’t put you at risk.
British Columbia set another record for daily virus cases on Thursday, with 2,046 new infections reported. Henry noted that the virus is “spreading very quickly” and the record figure does not take into account people who have not been tested.
“There are a lot more people who are just doing the right things and staying home, so we all have to rethink how we spend the next few days. And if you have any concerns, put them aside,” said she declared.
“You know, find meaningful ways to connect that will get you through this. And I know that means for some people, unfortunately, you’re going to have to re-evaluate your plans. You know, make the delivery to home of turkey and meals, we have seen many.
“That’s how we get on together.”
Get more information on BC’s new public health orders.