FILE – Sarvnaz Michel, a 28-year-old nurse who works in St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, video chats with her grandmother, Acar Sharifi, in her home July 14, 2020, in Garden Grove, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

FILE – Sarvnaz Michel, a 28-year-old nurse who works in St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, video chats with her grandmother, Acar Sharifi, in her home July 14, 2020, in Garden Grove, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Single British Columbians won’t have to spend Christmas alone under health orders

Those who live alone have a few options

There is no doubt about it: the holiday season is going to be quieter this year. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend it alone, according to B.C. health officials.

The province is under health orders until Jan. 8, which restrict gatherings of any size whether indoor or outdoor. The measures are in response to a difficult second wave in the ongoing pandemic, which has seen daily case counts top 900 new infections, as well as record-breaking hospitalization rates.

There are some situations exempt from the orders, according to information released by the provincial health office.

While most British Columbians are limited to only spend Christmas, Hanukkah and other celebrations with their immediate household, those who live alone are allowed to gather with a few others.

Dubbed a “core bubble,” people who live alone can still see a partner, relative, friend or someone they co-parent with in a different household. This bubble can include a maximum of two people.

Other exemptions include those who co-parent or have to rely on other family members and friends for delivering essential products, such as mail, medication or groceries.

Last week, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that grandparents who already help take care of their grandchildren will be allowed to see each other during the holidays, such as for Christmas and New Year’s.

Dix said, however, that caution is still key in tiding the second wave.

“When in doubt, rule it out,” he said. “When there is additional risk, rule it out.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she’s been inundated with hundreds of inquiries where people ask “What about my specific situation?” and urged British Columbians to take the rules and apply them in a way that ensures transmission risks are reduced.

“The bottom line is we want to, as much as possible, stick with our household,” she said.

“If your household regularly includes grandparents as part of caring for children then you can make that decision about that risk to you, to your grandparents in particular.”

Henry said what cannot happen is extended families — such as adult children with their own children and partners — joining together this holiday.

“We need to show our love for each other for staying small and staying with our close family unit only.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

The City of Surrey is seeking public input on its walking routes, including Semiahmoo Trail. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Surrey seeks input from seniors on city’s walking routes

Online survey is part of city’s Age Friendly Strategy

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Most Read