People get exercise outside on the lake shore path along Lake Ontario in Toronto on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Health officials and the government has asks that people stay inside to help curb the spread of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

People get exercise outside on the lake shore path along Lake Ontario in Toronto on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Health officials and the government has asks that people stay inside to help curb the spread of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19: Broadening social circles will look different based on health risks, Henry says

Will be in-part up to individuals to determine personal risk for themselves and their loved ones

The province’s top doctor has hinted that British Columbians will be able to broaden their social circles in the coming months, but warned that it will likely look different for everyone.

B.C. officials are set to unveil their reopening plan next week. With residents eager to discover which restrictions will be lifted, Dr. Bonnie Henry said this week that the plan will rely on British Columbians to assess their own risk and act within their comfort zone – within the set-out guidelines.

“We need to consider each of us and our own family, how we want to and how we can, expand our circles but doing it in a way that is safe,” Henry said.

“We might be able to connect with others in a way that we haven’t been able to do in the last little in a while, but we need to be thoughtful about it. Because the more groups and people we have connections with the more chances that we might transmit this virus.”

That means relaxing restrictions may make it fine for young people to connect with other small groups of friends, Henry continued.

But for those who live with other people or family members with underlying health conditions, such as undergoing cancer treatment, it likely won’t be suitable to expand social circles.

Returning to the workplace and other considerations will have to be made.

“We’re not going to have large group gatherings together, we’re not going to be having indoor parties this coming summer, but we can look at how we can safely have more contact and have more poeple in our lives,” she said.

Opening venues like casinos, where many seniors congregate, won’t be at the top of the priority list, she added.

B.C. officials are expected to release new transmission modelling data early next week, before announcing a plan for the coming months.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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