This past weekend has shown a record-breaking spike in active COVID-19 cases in BC.
RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE GATHERINGS
A new new provincial health order restricts gatherings in private homes to no more than immediate household members and six additional people. This may be too large a number for some households - it depends on how safely people can be spaced.
Over the next month, there will be several holidays. Provincial Health Office, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has advised BC citizens to keep numbers small as we celebrate Hallowe'en. As much distance as possible is encouraged, and minimal contact. BC Centre for Disease Control advice and guidelines on staying safe this Hallowe'en can be found here.
MASKS MANDATORY ON TRANSLINK BUSES AND SKYTRAINS
As we are not able to adequately social distance on transport such as skytrains and buses, Vancouver companies have now declared masks mandatory on board. The mandate applies to the public and to transit employees when they are inside transit vehicles. Bus drivers and SeaBus staff who are behind shields or in enclosed compartments are exempt, as are children under five years of age and those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons or due to a disability.
Transport police will be able to hand out tickets, or remove passengers from the vehicle if they do not comply with the mandate.
GOOD TIMES GUIDE
Dr. Henry has released this quick guide on how to enjoy this summer safely. See https://goodtimes.gov.bc.ca/ for her tips.
KEEP UP THE HYGIENE MEASURES
The best way to ensure a safe reopening of our society is to maintain the measures that have been emphasised since the outbreak of the virus. Keep washing your hands, covering coughs and maintaining physical distance.
Masks have been emphasised as a means of protecting those around you, rather than the wearer. They are advised for situations where physical distancing is not feasible, such as public transit, retail or personal services.
EMPLOYEES MUST STAY HOME WHEN SICK
"These industry outbreaks, the poultry outbreaks, are a warning to us that we don’t quite have that way of thinking within our industries … to ensure people aren’t coming in ill,"said Dr. Henry. We need to adjust our attitude within industry so that employees stay home when they are sick. This will be an essential adjustment as we move forward.
If you are sick, you should always stay home now. Do not go to work or school.
SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF NEEDED
Health concerns regarding the current safety of hospitals and other medical facilities were also addressed.
"Do not be afraid to seek medical help if you need it," said Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, "It is safe to go to hospital and to call 911. Do you not hesistate if you are in urgent need."
ADDITIONAL GOOD NEWS
To support seniors during this difficult time, the B.C. government is expanding its BC 211 helpline. Seniors in need can call and be matched with volunteers willing to help. If you are a senior or the family member of a senior who needs help getting groceries, getting medications and staying connected, call 211 or visit the website www.bc211.ca. We’ll try to match you up with a volunteer or some kind of service in your community.
THINGS ARE CHANGING DAILY. BE SURE TO FOLLOW OUR PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP UPDATES
We urge all British Columbians to listen to the province's daily COVID 19 emergency updates provided by Minister of Health Adrian Dix's and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
For additional information, please be sure to rely on credible sources. Consult our trusted information sources.