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

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read