Lifestyle

Two days ahead of spring break, B.C.’s top doctor announced limited social gatherings can happen outdoors, leaving some to wondering whether trips to the family cabin or travel within the province is permitted in the weeks ahead.

VANCOUVER —
Two days ahead of spring break, B.C.’s top doctor announced limited social gatherings can happen outdoors, leaving some to wondering whether trips to the family cabin or travel within the province is permitted in the weeks ahead.
In a COVID-19 briefing Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the slightly relaxed restrictions and had some advice for families ahead of the two-week break from school. 
“What we need to do is stay local,” Henry said. “Explore your local community.”
Henry did say, however, there are some rare situations where an individual household could visit a family cabin, but urged people in high-risk areas to avoid going to low-risk areas.
“I do think over March break if you’re a family and you’re going to your cabin and you’re self-contained that that’s OK. But we really need to stick to our households,” she said.
“There are areas where we have a lot of transmission happening. We do not want people to travel from those areas, to an area of low risk. And we don’t want people to visit an area that is high risk right now because those communities are trying to manage the outbreak in their community.”
In her briefing, Henry shared the latest modelling data showing the spread of COVID-19 in the province. That update reiterated transmission has been highest in the Fraser Health region, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health. 
In fact, dynamic compartmental modelling which the provincial health officer stressed is “not a prediction” indicated there could be massive growth in infections in the Fraser Health region by May if current trends continue.
“Much of what our future could be is driven by what happens in our populous areas in the Lower Mainland,” Henry said.
In the weeks ahead, Henry said the focus should still be on essential travel.
“Focus on small, staying with your family, exploring your neighbourhood, doing day trips. There are many things we can do in day trips,” she said.
“Don’t go from a place of high risk to a place of low risk.”
With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Andrew Weichel