As COVID-19 cases increase in other parts of British Columbia, Interior Health advises residents of the interior region to expect a similar increase in cases in their communities and urges them to take measures to minimize their risk of COVID-19.
Social connections with family and friends while on vacation are important. As we plan to come together, please take steps to reduce the risk of getting sick or passing the disease on to others.
Omicron is much more transmissible, and congregations can increase our risk of being exposed.
For this reason, we ask residents of the Interior region to respect the provincial decree in order to allow safer gatherings during the holidays. I encourage everyone to take additional steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
To get vaccinated. Reserve your booster dose as soon as you are eligible and invited to make an appointment at a clinic or pharmacy. Vaccines are available for everyone from the age of five.
Stay home if you are feeling unwell. Do not risk spreading an infection to others. Postpone plans to reunite with others and limit your contact as much as possible while you are sick.
Have it tested. Test sites are seeing an increased demand for testing and more and more appointments are added regularly. Use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you need a test for COVID-19. Stay isolated if you have symptoms while you wait for your test result.
Be careful. As the activity of COVID-19 cases increases, pay attention to your health and that of your children.
Hide yourself. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth in indoor public places and in situations where physical distancing is not possible.
Keep your personal gatherings small and reserved for fully immunized people. Keep household meetings to the same 10 guests or to another household. Allow enough space to avoid crowding inside and open a window every hour to allow traffic to reduce the risk.
Gather outside rather than inside. Outdoor activities like hiking, snowshoeing, or gathering around a fire are a safer option for gathering indoors.
Minimize non-essential travel. Stay close to home to prevent the virus from spreading to other communities. Do not travel if you are not vaccinated.
For the latest public health orders and guidelines, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca.
For a list of all Interior Health’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics and other resources, visit: interiorhealth.ca.
Dr Silvina Mema,
Interior Health Officer
COVID-19 Letter to the Editor