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

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Most Read