There will be no Christmas dinners or New Year's parties with people outside of household members in BC this year. The provincial health officer has extended until Jan. 8 the public health orders banning all events, adult team sports and limiting close contacts to household members only. Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 case counts are starting to show signs of leveling off, but not enough to lift restrictions.
Dr. Bonnie Henry:
Henry has allowed an exemption, after coming under fire from charitable organizations. Now those groups will be allowed to run drive-through and drop-off donations of food and toys. BC's Minister of Health is anticipating push-back from faith groups, unhappy with a ban on in-person religious services. Adrian Dix has appointed a mediator, to consult with faith leaders.
As well, faith groups that were planning drive-in services will be able to hold them. Henry's amended orders will now allow drive-in events, limited to 50 cars, with no mingling outside of vehicles.
Currently, there are 9,380 active cases of COVID-19 in BC. There are 359 people in hospital with the virus, and intensive care hospital beds are running at between 60 and 78 per cent of capacity.