Christmas is still well over a month away, but with people beginning to plan their holidays, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared some advice at a COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
When it comes to Christmas gatherings, Dr. Henry’s message was clear: “Keep your indoor groups small.” She also expressed the importance of still keeping social connections intact.
If you were planning on Christmas 2021 being the big family reunion, Dr. Henry advises against it and suggests inviting over just one or two additional people from your extended circle.
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Last year, the COVID-19 vaccine wasn’t available during the holidays, so it gives BC residents an extra layer of protection this year. Dr. Henry urges folks to make sure anyone being invited to a gathering is fully vaccinated.
“This is especially important if you have older relatives or people who are going through cancer treatments or have immune system dysfunction.”
As we start to plan for the holidays, it’s important to find safe ways to celebrate, like keeping indoor gatherings small and staying home if you’re sick. The best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safe is to get vaccinated: https://t.co/dUSFTZOTeF pic.twitter.com/HQ4BMgHNKq
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) November 9, 2021
She suggested having an outdoor gathering if you are planning to have a broader event, as the risk of transmission is much lower.
“Go sledding, or snowshoeing, or hiking.”
If you’re travelling over the Christmas holidays, Dr. Henry is reminding residents that many parts of BC are still dealing with a greater COVID-19 impact than other regions, and that many places may not be ready to accept visitors.
BC is currently experiencing a downward trend when it comes to COVID-19 transmission, and the message from Dr. Henry is to not lose the positive momentum.
“It is especially important for us all to remain vigilant now. This pandemic is still very much here.”
“We will continue to be cautious in our approach.”
The reproduction rate has dropped below one, which means COVID-19 is spreading to fewer people.
Dr. Henry attributed this positive development to more and more people getting immunized against COVID-19. However, she reminded BC residents that we’re not out of the woods yet.
Flu season is also back with a vengeance, and Dr. Henry outlined the importance of getting protected against it through the influenza vaccine ahead of the holidays.
More holiday-related developments are likely to be announced in the coming weeks.