Outdoor Halloween activities highlighted as BC COVID-19 are among the worst in Canada

Vancouver –

As British Columbia sees only a small drop in COVID-19 infections and one of the highest transmission rates in the country, doctors and health authorities are encouraging outdoor activities whenever possible for Halloween parties.

In the past week, BC has seen the third highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country per capita. per capita (78 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), now close to Alberta (86 per 100,000), which has managed to slow down new infections significantly in recent weeks. Saskatchewan still leads the country with 124 cases per year. 100,000, while Ontario has pushed its already low cases even lower to just 17 cases per year. 100,000, according to publicly available data from the Canadian Public Health Agency.

It has both BC’s public health officials and frontline doctors emphasizing fresh air and good ventilation, while doing as many outdoor activities as possible to help avoid a future increase in cases due to Halloween parties and activities. .

“Ventilation is really important, so if the weather is good, I would encourage everyone to celebrate outside,” said Dr. Ran Goldman, a pediatrician and professor at the University of British Columbia.

“Do not let (trick-or-treaters) come in, do not hold big parties in your house. Being outside in small groups, wearing masks and taking distance will help us all stay safe.”

Goldman acknowledged that some parents would still be too anxious for coronavirus to take young children trick-or-treating – and recent polls suggest more than half of Canadians will be reluctant to hand out candy – but insisted that the doorway interactions are low risk.

“If people are vaccinated and comply with public health measures, I think it’s very safe and should probably be encouraged to go trick or treat and try to get back as much as possible to normal daily life,” Goldman said, adding that people is much more familiar with public health measures like distancing and masking than they were last Halloween.

In 2020, the second wave started when COVID-19 cases began to rise around October 1, with the rolling seven-day average being only 98 cases per day. On October 29, the average was 254. Per. On October 29 this year, the average was 575 after sinking from the current fourth wave peak of 754 cases per year. day on average.

ADVICE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS

Goldman suggested parents only let children wear one mask and warned that double masking with a medical or fabric mask under a costume mask could lead to difficulty breathing.

He also encourages families to take hand alcohol on their trick-or-treating adventures, as small hands are likely to grab handrails and other touch points.

There are several respiratory viruses in circulation this year, so hand hygiene is important, but it also comes with its own risks.

“Do not wipe candy wrappers with disinfectant or detergent,” warned BC Drug and Poison Information Center earlier this week.

“When using rubbing alcohol, wait until your hands are dry before handling and eating candy.”

Earlier this month, the provincial health officer also stressed the importance of fresh air and ventilation, which supported the idea of ​​candy slips and other methods of keeping physical distance.

“We still do not have the vaccine for young children, especially the age who enjoys going out and trick-or-treating,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry on October 12th.

“Keep it out, keep the groups small, do the fun things that worked last year.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor at the University of Toronto, agrees that trick-or-treating is safe when the biggest dangers are avoided.

“I’m not worried about COVID transfer from touching M & M’s box or anything like that – this is transmitted over the air,” he said. “Think about where the bottlenecks will be, which could be at someone’s doorstep, if there are a bunch of families knocking on the door at the same time, so you want to keep your head on a swirl and avoid crowds.”

OTHER PROVINCES IMPROVE DRAMATICALLY, BC A LITTLE

In the past week, British Columbia has continued to struggle through the fourth wave relative to other populous provinces, more than quadrupling the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths as Ontario on a per capita basis. The active case comparison shows that BC shows five times as many cases when corrected for the population.

While Ontario had tested more people than British Columbia in most of the pandemic, that has changed in recent weeks. On Friday, BC performed 34 percent more tests per. per capita according to daily published data from the Canadian Public Health Agency.

Hospital admissions are also rising towards record levels despite BC’s high vaccination rate.

For large parts of the province, there are no limits to private gatherings such as Halloween parties, nor are there occupancy limits in bars and restaurants, where all participants must now show proof of full vaccination.

However, in the health authorities of northern, inner and eastern Fraser, there are public health orders in place that prohibit unvaccinated households from having more than five visitors. These areas of the province continue to experience the highest COVID-19 infection rates and some of the lowest vaccine uptake.

Nevertheless, a group of independent scientists, data analysts and infectious disease experts are “cautiously optimistic” that the slow fall in cases will continue and the worst of the fourth wave is behind us, but warns that “if we become everything too optimistic, we lower our guard and you know what’s going on. “

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