Loading articles...

Thanksgiving gathering still on the table in B.C., says top doctor

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Sep 24, 2020 at 7:45 pm PDT

FILE - A Thanksgiving turkey dinner. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Summary

It's okay for families to gather for Thanksgiving, but in small numbers: provincial health officer

The day prior, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was less optimistic and declared a second wave of COVID-19 is underway

Henry said her message is no different than in the summer, that large family gatherings are advised

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — It’s okay for families to gather for Thanksgiving — in small numbers — Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

The day prior, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was less optimistic and declared a second wave of COVID-19 is underway in the four most populous provinces.

“It’s all too likely we won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving, but we still have a shot at Christmas,” he said.

However, Henry said British Columbians can get together with family or close friends for the Oct. 12 holiday, but in small groups.

“I think Thanksgiving is an important time for us to remember and give thanks for those who we are closest to, and we’ve been talking about that quite a bit. There’s no reason at all why you can’t have Thanksgiving with your household bubble, your contacts, your close, small number of people,” she added.

“I think it is a challenge, and we would not be recommending, either, that you have a large family gathering, where particularly elders and seniors come from other places, and get together with people who have had other types of contacts.”

Henry said her message is no different than in the summer, that large family gatherings are not advised.

“This is not the year for that. This is a year to participate remotely with your family, the people you’re closest to, to make sure that you can find ways to engage in these important celebrations together without putting anybody at risk.”

Henry also had advice for sports groups to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.

“Number one, if you or others in your household participate in sports, maintaining your distance on and off the field is important,” she said.

That means keeping your distance from other spectators, or parents, on the sidelines.

“And socializing after the game needs to be avoided right now,” Henry said.

“But if you are playing with the same group of people on a periodic basis, with this guidance in mind, then it may be safe for you to do that right now.”

Henry also recommended families have discussions about the size of their bubbles, and who is included in them.

“That may mean that each person in your family has one friend versus six. It may mean that you partner with one or two other families that have children the same age, that you can keep and have that agreement and talk to each other about how you will manage the risk, and the relationships that you have,” she said.

READ ALSO:

“If your teenage son has a girlfriend, have a consultation with her family to better understand the circumstances in her family and agree on her approach that works for everyone.”

Henry said it is important to understand the risks.

“A starting point for all of us is to remember that the more people we see, the higher our risk will be.”

The province reported 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with two deaths.

Both of the deaths happened in the Fraser Health Authority and bring the total in B.C. to 229.

Cases total 8,543 overall.