Since late summer, COVID-19 case counts continue to increase in the number of active cases and people in isolation. Although most cases are concentrated in the Fraser Health region, COVID-19 continues to spread in all health regions in BC including Vancouver Island as is evidenced by the increased case counts over the past two weeks.
A few weeks ago, the Province of BC implemented a province-wide order limiting social gatherings in private homes to your immediate household; the people who live in your home, plus a maximum of six other people (your safe six). This order applies to all homes and for all occasions within Island Health. A household is defined as a group of people who live in the same dwelling. If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household. If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household. Dr Henry has said people who live alone can maintain a small bubble.
Because of the number of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended travel in and out of the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions be limited to essential travel only. If it is necessary to travel to Metro Vancouver, it is so important to exercise caution.
At this time, there is a two-week provincial order for those living in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley which essentially limits socializing to those within an immediate household – no gatherings or household visitors allowed. We are now going on nine months of feeling the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic in our community and although we do not have the same provincial order in Island Health, conducting ourselves in a safe and preventative manner, keeping our bubbles small is the best possible way to keep ourselves and loved ones safe this winter.
The choices we make do make a difference and will support our businesses and schools to stay open. Thank you for continuing to do your part in keeping us safe and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing a mask
The Public Health Agency of Canada now advises wearing non-medical masks with three layers. Earlier this month the Public Health Agency of Canada advised Canadians to up their mask game and use non-medical face masks with three layers
- two layers made of a tightly woven fabric like cotton and a third layer made of a synthetic water-repelling material which can act as a filter to trap infectious particles. (Alternatively, you can choose masks with a pocket in which you insert a removable filter.) Previously, PHAC had been telling Canadians to use a non-medical mask or face covering with two layers. Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam stressed the importance of the new recommendation given the fact that we are moving into winter and likely to spend more time indoors.
explains proper material, fit, safety considerations and outlines the reasons why the Public Health Agency is now recommending three-layer masks.
Every layer of protection helps slow the spread of COVID-19. But no layer is perfect. Layer up to keep our loved ones, elders, and communities safe — and our businesses and schools open.
Pandemic Preparedness Guide
A roadmap to help you plan for a pandemic, this guide provides resources, supports and information on what to do to keep yourself and others safe. There's an explanation of a pandemic, info about emergency kits, good hygiene, personal health, copying with stress, checklists and forms, how to clean and disinfect and other useful information. The link to the guide is here
Being Winter Prepared
We've seen our share of rain and wind this month and no doubt will see more severe weather over the coming winter months. This link
provides a home preparedness checklist for severe weather, ideas on how to develop an emergency plan and emergency kit as well as suggestions on how you can connect with your neighbours.
For information, contact: