The provincial health worker has urged British Columbians to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small and vaccinated as the province enters its second holiday season plagued by the pandemic.
“This coming weekend is Thanksgiving, when a lot of us typically get together with family and friends over a meal,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
“I want to ask everyone, please keep your group small this year. Remember what we are seeing in our communities right now. And especially if you have older family members or anyone who is immunocompromised is planning to attend, make sure everyone present is fully immunized. “
British Columbia faces Thanksgiving in a different situation than it was last year. In the week leading up to last year’s vacation – October 2-8 – the province reported 846 cases. In the past seven days, the province has reported 4,855 cases.
Last year, British Columbia had few restrictions before the holidays. Alcohol sales had been banned in restaurants, bars and pubs after 10 p.m. and nightclubs and banquet halls were closed in September, but restaurants and gyms remained open. Individuals were instructed to “stick with six” and not to congregate in larger groups, but masks were not yet mandatory.
And more importantly, the vaccines were still months away from approvals.
But in the fall of 2021, there is a new threat. Henry warned that the delta variant – which accounts for 99.9% of cases in British Columbia – is not only more contagious, but appears to be more virulent, even in younger individuals.
“We see this every day in our intensive care units here now, in our hospitals, in the number of seriously ill people and, sadly, in the number of deaths that we see. “
Interior Health, Northern Health and the eastern Fraser Valley continue to face tighter harvesting restrictions than the rest of British Columbia
Some of the restrictions in the eastern Fraser Valley region only apply to those who are not fully vaccinated. There are no restrictions on personal gatherings in the rest of Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, or Island Health.