Northern Health: Strict COVID Rules In the South Also Need To Be A Guide For The North

‘We need your support to avoid more stringent measures.’

People who live in Metro Vancouver are being told by the province to not gather socially with people outside their household, avoid non-essential travel outside the region, stop attending indoor exercise programs and stay physically far apart from others in workplaces.

With the province confirming more than 700 new cases of COVID, including 21 in the North on Tuesday, Northern Health is arguing that the restrictions down south should also be a guide for the Skeena Region.

“Recent orders in the Fraser Valley issued by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to address cases in the Lower Mainland are not currently directed at Northern Health; however, we need your support to avoid more stringent measures,” reads a release put out this week by the Health authority.  

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Northern Health is urging people to “please keep your bubble small and limited to your household and a handful (up to six) close friends or family (your “safe six”)”. It recommends that as people make holiday plans “please avoid travel and choose to celebrate with individuals in your bubble.”

Young people and essential workers like health-care workers and teachers should also keep their bubbles small. “Remember,” Northern Health writes. “The provincial health officer’s orders to household gatherings applies province-wide. This means no more than six people from outside your household bubble should gather in your home.”

The restrictions in Metro Vancouver are not being legally enforced–at least not yet–and neither are the suggestions from Northern Health. But the health authority says acting strongly now can ensure we don’t have to face dangerous health impacts later on. 

“Our behaviours can play a role in preventing transmission and spread,” it writes. 

To talk to a nurse, doctor, or nurse practitioner, call the B.C. Northern Health Virtual Clinic and Info Line at 1-844-645-7811. The Virtual Clinic phone line is open seven days a week, 10am to 10pm.

All Northern BC residents can call this line for COVID-19 information, health advice, virtual screenings and assessments, and primary and community care services.

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Written by Skeena Strong

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