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Should I self-isolate during the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

26, 10-2020

Always check the BCCDC for up to date health information, but in general,  you must self-isolate if:

  1. You have COVID-19 Coronavirus
  2. You have had close contact with a confirmed case of the COVID-19 Coronavirus
  3. You have recently returned to Canada. Since March 25, 2020, by Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act it is mandatory for any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19
  4. You have symptoms of COVID-19 Coronavirus including a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing

See the BCCDC’s guide to Self-Isolation for information on when and how to self-isolate.

What is the new order on private home gatherings?

October 30, 2020

On October 26, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry introduced a new order limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This is a provincewide order that applies to all homes for all occasions. Enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following this new order. Dr. Henry reminds everyone of the order on social gatherings for no more than 50 people. It requires that every location must have sufficient space to maintain safe physical distancing between everyone, which means the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people. See the October 26th statement HERE.


Can my family celebrate Halloween this year?

October 28, 2020

The BC Centre for Disease Control has provided Halloween guidelines for COVID-19

British Columbians are asked to skip Halloween parties this year, trick or treat in small groups and get creative in making space when handing out treats. If you celebrate with others, keep it within your social group (stick to six). With regard to trick or treating, keep it to your local neighbourhood this year and stick to groups of six people or less. Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering. Make sure to wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats. If you are handing out treats, wear a non medical mask that covers your nose and mouth. Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy. Lastly, turn off your porch light and stay at home if you are sick or self-isolating.


What does the new order say about events, restaurants, and vacation accommodation?

October 30, 2020

On October 30, 2020 Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a new order regarding mass gatherings. See the order regarding Gatherings and Events for exact wording but it limits the number of people who can attend an event at a vacation accommodation to 5 people plus the staying at the accommodation. 

Up to 50 people can attend an event at a place that is not a vacation accommodation as long as certain conditions are met such as there being an organizer and the number of people attending the event is closely monitored. However, starting on Sept. 8, banquet halls may not host events until further notice.

Additionally, on Oct. 9, Dr. Henry released an order instructing all nightclubs to close (starting Sept. 8 until further notice) and restaurants, cafes, bars, etc., to stop selling liquor by 10pm and close by 11pm unless a full mean service is being provided. Liquor may not be sold until 11am the following day. See the order HERE.


What is “Phase 3” and how can I travel safely and respectfully around BC?

October 26, 2020

We are now in Phase 3. That means certain businesses are allowed to increase activities and travel around B.C. is encouraged in some locations. Not all communities want visitors however so be sure to be respectful and check ahead of time. 

The following is still true: 

  • If you come arrive in BC from another country you MUST quarantine for 14 days
  • Groups of 50 or more people are not allowed - even if it is outdoors. 
  • If you feel sick STAY HOME - even if you wear a mask.

Learn more about Phase 3 Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guide for safe and respectful travel around B.C. HERE.

If you are travelling from BC to another province, please check with that province for travel restrictions or guidance in place. The Canada-US border remains closed to non-essential travel.

For more details regarding BC travel, BC borders, and access to recreation sites and active transportation routes, see the Government of BC website. For information about travel within Canada or departing Canada, see the Government of Canada’s travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.


Do I have to wear a mask?

October 28, 2020

Facemasks can be worn to help protect those around you, and the BCCDC advises that they should be worn by people who are sick to prevent transmission to other people. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading when you cough or sneeze. Wearing a mask does not make it okay to go out but it can help prevent the spread of germs at home especially if you cannot separate yourself from others in the home.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has also emphasized the importance of wearing a mask: “In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you.

If you are healthy, wearing a non-medical or cloth mask or face covering is a matter of personal choice but can help to protect others.
However, some organizations have introduced their own mask policies. See below for a list of locations where face masks are mandatory. Some people can spread the virus when they have very mild symptoms or may be unaware they are infected. Wearing a cloth mask will not protect you from COVID-19 but it is a good option in situations where you cannot keep a safe distance from others for an extended period of time such as when you are on transit, getting a haircut or visiting someone indoors. Do not put a face mask or any covering including visors and eye protection on infants under two years of age.

BC Transit, Translink and BC Ferries will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings while on-board all transit vehicles in communities across the Province as of Monday August 24, 2020. While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented with a focus on awareness and education. For more information, including those exempt from this mandate, see BC Transit Coronavirus COVID-19 Information and Translink’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Many individual stores, facilities and personal services businesses, such as hair salons, already require customers to wear a mask. If you do not already wear a mask while in indoor public spaces, it may be helpful to carry a mask with you in case you are asked to cover your face.

According to Transport Canada, all Canadian airlines require customers to wear masks while travelling when social distancing is not possible. Check your airline’s website for their mask policy prior to travelling.

Here is a list of stores, organizations and institutions across BC that require customers to wear masks:/p>

Any mask, no matter how efficient at filtration or how good the seal, will have minimal effect if it is not used together with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing. For more information, visit the BCCDC.

Note: Some provinces have made masks mandatory in certain settings. Before travelling to another province, make sure you are aware of the new bylaws.


Can I still wash my hands if my BC community has a boil water advisory?

October 26, 2020

According to the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), if you are under a Boil Water or Do Not Consume Advisory, it is still safe to wash your hands with soap and water.

See the FNHA COVID-19 website for more information on staying healthy during the health crisis. However, if you are living with a Do Not Use (DNU) advisory you should wash with bottled water. For specific water advisories and more information see HERE.


My kids are online much more than usual due to COVID-19 Coronavirus. What can I do to ensure they are safe?

October 26, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to keep kids cooped up indoors, Global News reports that “there’s been a rise in the online sexual exploitation of Canadian children,” according to a national tipline. says it saw a 66 percent spike in reports in April compared to the three previous months. The tipline processes reports from the public about potentially illegal material, including child pornography or online luring, and aims to act as a “triage” for law enforcement and child welfare. Moreover, there’s a new type of predator to worry about and they call themselves “cappers.” They trick children into committing illicit acts over livestream while secretly recording a video, which they then use to blackmail the child.

Parents can go to for their guide on Keeping Kids Safe Online While Out of School which includes advice on what parents should be aware of and what parents can do to keep their children safe online. The Government of Canada also has resources to protect your entire family online.


I want to do more. How can I help respond to COVID-19 Coronavirus?

October 26, 2020

If you are interested to support the response to Coronavirus COVID-19, there are many ways you can help. Information below is provided by the Government of Canada. It lists concrete, meaningful ways to contribute and make a real difference in the lives of fellow Canadians. For a full list of initiatives, see COVID-19: How you can make a difference.


FluWatchers is an online surveillance system that normally helps track the spread of flu-like illness across Canada. We are using its established network of volunteers to track COVID-19 Coronavirus. You can participate by anonymously answering 2 quick health-related questions each week to help show Canadians where COVID-19 is circulating.

Sign up to be a FluWatcher

Download Canada COVID-19 App

The app will support you to track your symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources. 

Download the application

Supplies to help Canada respond

Can your business supply products and services to help Canada's response to COVID-19 Coronavirus? We want to hear from you.

Supply a needed product or service

Volunteer for the Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program

Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program is a provincial initiative to help seniors stay safe while ensuring their basic needs are met. The program matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials, to volunteers in their community who are willing to help. When you register as a volunteer, your contact information is shared with the United Way's Better at Home agencies. Those agencies make the connections between seniors and volunteers in the community.

Sign up to volunteer


Are parks in BC closed due to COVID-19?

October 26, 2020

As of June 29 , many campgrounds across the province have re-opened for the 2020 camping season, with more campgrounds to open in the weeks to come. Overnight camping is once again permitted at recreation sites. On May 14, BC Parks began to reopen the majority of provincial parks and protected areas and marine parks. Some areas and facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres. For the most up to date information, visit Recreation Sites and Trails BC. Click HERE for a list of parks that are open to visitors.

The 2020 season booking window for most campgrounds has now closed for 2020. Many campgrounds will remain open on a first come first serve basis through September and October. Campgrounds will reopen for the beginning of the new season in Spring 2021. For more information regarding the specific operating dates for your preferred park please visit the individual park webpages.

Many municipal parks, beaches and gardens remain open. Certain parks have reduced services, including facility closures and parking limitations. Some public playgrounds and schoolyards remain closed. Check with your local municipality regarding parks near you. 

While enjoying a park, beach or garden, maintain social distancing of 2 metres. See: Can I get in legal trouble if I don’t practice “social distancing?”.



Where can I find information about COVID-19 Coronavirus in my own language?

October 26, 2020

The Federal Government has created COVID 19: Indigenous awareness resources which contains information and resources in Indigenous languages.

The Provincial Government has translated its COVID-19 Coronavirus content into 


The BC Centre of Disease Control has also provided translated handouts and videos in multiple languages HERE.

The City of Vancouver has made their COVID-19 resource available in multiple languages including Korean, Tagalog, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Farsi among others. Find Vancouver resources in your language HERE.