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

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

This will be the second year the Bella Coola Valley Rodeo won’t take place due to the pandemic. (Michael Wigle file photo)
Bella Coola Valley Rodeo cancelled for 2021

Club organizers say next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

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

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read