Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has rolled out a new Provincial Health Officer Order today limiting private gatherings in your home to no more than your immediate household plus six others.

Dr. Henry says this is to remind us that the rules are in place to protect us, that we need to be cognisant to having that safe space.

“If you come from a family that is living in a home together, six additional guests may be too many and you may need to consider for the coming months to focus on your own immediate family and look at how you can have your social connections with others in a safe way.”

“This is going to be a challenge more for some people than others, but this is something we need to do together as a community so that we can get through the coming respiratory season and best protect each and every one of our families and communities,” explained Dr.Henry. 

British Columbia also recorded 817 new cases of the virus since Friday. 

That brings B.C’s total to 13,371, with 2,325 of those listed as active. 

Three deaths were also announced over the weekend and 77 people are currently in the hospital.

Just over 5,000 people are now under active public health monitoring after being exposed to someone who has or could have COVID-19. 

Vancouver Island was not part of the latest statistics, with no new COVID-19 cases reported in the region. 

Two schools, one in the Fraser Health Region and one in the Interior Health Region, have been closed due to an exposure to the virus. 

She also reminded everyone that while wearing non-medical face masks is not a public health order, it is still highly recommended in crowded spaces to protect yourself and others. 

She says now is not the time to let up on our COVID-19 safety procedures. 

“As we know this is a bit of a sobering weekend for us. This is the largest number of cases that we’ve had in a three-day period and it’s concerning to us that we continue to see growth particularly in the lower mainland and the Fraser Health Region, to be specific.”

“To get through our COVID-19 storm it requires all of us to do our part, no exceptions, no workarounds, no trying to get around the very few but important rules that we have in place. 

“Every time a friend, a neighbour, or family member tries to put aside the provincial orders and the safety precautions that we’ve put in place, all of our risks goes up.”