British Columbians asked to pick just one sport for themselves and children | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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British Columbians asked to pick just one sport for themselves and children

Chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on April 2, 2020.
Image Credit: Province of British Columbia
October 13, 2020 - 5:30 PM

If you or your children are enjoying a wide array of extracurricular activities, you may want to pare it down, the province's top doctor said today.

“Pick the one that’s important to you and stick with that group of people, rather than having different groups of people that you’re playing hockey or soccer with on different days,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer said today, Oct. 13, after announcing 548 new cases of COVID-19.

As is, she said, there’s been an increase in community exposures connected to recreational sports like hockey and soccer as leagues slowly started to resume.

The result has been that some sports facilities have needed to close, or to shut down for periods of time.

“We know that physical activity is important for our overall health and, from the beginning, we've encouraged people to go outside and to be active,” she said. “We know, as well, that it's incredibly important for young people and for school-aged children.”

But Dr. Henry said it’s not the time to get carried away.

Sports leagues and recreational organizations did have to present a COVID-19 safety plan to get going again, and those are guided by public health principles but they’re not entirely risk-free, particularly once groups of spectators are factored in.

“Like the recent NHL playoffs, the plans have prioritized the players over the spectators and I know that's a challenge for some people who want to be there to support their children in particular who are playing on on teams,” she said. “But we also know that spending time socializing or cheering with other parents and fans before, during and following games increases risk of transmission, and exposure for families.”

That's why, she said, there are restrictions on spectators in arenas, and on sidelines of games.

"It’s important for all of us to think about our cumulative interactions. The more time we spend with others in one area means we have to be careful about spending less time in another area,” she said.

If you're in a busy workplace and have children in school, then Dr. Henry said it is all the more important to limit your time with others, whether it's social events or recreational sports. 

It’s more important, Dr. Henry said, to share in the process of keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe.

“The best way to do that is to follow our COVID-19 safety basics on and off the field,” she said. “I know most people are doing the right thing but I ask that you keep this top of mind.”

The total number of COVID-19 cases in B.C. as of today, Oct. 13, is 10,734, and the death toll has risen to 250.


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