In BC, we are now in the second wave of the pandemic and there are updated guidelines in place as case numbers continue to rise.
The good news is that the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations began the week of December 14, 2020 for priority groups and vaccinations will continue through 2021 as they become available.
It can be a bit confusing and overwhelming as information keeps changing frequently, so we’ve summarized the latest key provincial guidelines for you. We are all in this together.
As of January 7, 2021 at midnight, the new temporary restrictions put in place on November 19. 2020 have been extended and expanded until February 5, 2021 at midnight. These restrictions apply to all communities in BC. The new orders focus on social gatherings, non-essential travel within BC and across Canada, physical activities and wearing masks in public spaces.
The key provincial restrictions are:
- No events, parties or social gatherings of any size. This includes indoor and outdoor events, concerts, and going to the movie theatre.There are a few exceptions if the event has a COVID-19 safety plan in place, including:
- Drive-in events such as religious services. The event must have a maximum of 50 cars attend at the same time and people must stay in their cars
- Drop-off events such as fundraisers and toy drives. The event must have a maximum of 50 cars attend at the same time and people must maintain physical distancing.
- Formal meetings suchas Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Meals for people in need such as soup kitchens, meals at shelters and charities offering meals. Events must have a maximum of 50 people in attendance and consider providing pre-packaged meals to limit gatherings.
- Going for a walk is okay as long as it doesn’t turn into a group of people meeting outside.
- Keep your social group to people your core bubble. These are the only people you should spend time with whether you are at home, outside or at a restaurant.
- If you live with others, they are your core bubble. This may include your immediate family, or your roommates.
- If you live alone, you can choose 1-2 people you regularly spend time with to be your social group. This may include a partner, relative, friend, or a co-parent who lives in a different household.
- Pause high intensity group physical activities. These activities increase your breathing rate in a close space and/or make it difficult to physically distance.
- High intensity group classes and activities that are considered high risk must stop until further notice include spin classes, hot yoga, bootcamp and HIIT classes.
- Low intensity group activities are okay as long as they have a COVID-19 safety plan in place. These activities include yoga, pilates, adult dance classes, light weightlifting and Tai-Chi.
- Tip: Try an individual exercise or practice instead where you can safely physically distance. You can look up free home workouts online or go for a walk (alone or with your core bubble) or run outside.
- Changes to indoor and outdoor team sports.
- Adult (22+ years old) team sports must stop until further notice. These include sports like basketball, cheerleading, hockey, martial arts, soccer and lacrosse.
- There are some exceptions as long as adults from separate core bubbles stay at least 3 metres apart:
- Two adults may play indoor sports together.
- Four adults may play outdoor sports together.
- Youth (under 22 years old) team sports can continue but must follow physical distancing guidelines. This means, games, tournaments and competitions must stop for now.
- No one is allowed to watch team sports at this time.
- Travel for sport activities like games, competitions, training and practice is not allowed at this time.
- Changes to youth activities. The following activities can continue if a COVID-19 safety plan is in place an adult is supervising:
- Education programs
- Recreational programs
- Outdoor fitness
- Social activities
- Note: Performances and recitals are not allowed at this time.
- Limit non-essential travel in and out of the Lower Mainland and between provinces within Canada. Plan to stay close to home and reschedule any trips unless they are essential. Non-essential travel includes:
- Traveling for vacation
- Traveling to visit friends or family outside of your core bubble
- Wear a non-medical mask. Wearing a mask is mandatory in public, indoor spaces, unless you are eating and drinking at your table at a restaurant or are unable to wear a mask due to health conditions. Public spaces include places like grocery stores, retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants and public transportation.
- Work. It is strongly recommended you wear a mask at work when you are in shared areas or areas where it’s difficult to physically distance. These spaces include kitchens, break rooms and elevators.
- School. You are not required to wear a mask indoors at school because you are with the same group of peers everyday.Wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when combined with other preventative measures. For more information on masks and how they help during COVID-19, see our article here.
You can read more on the new temporary restrictions that are in effect until February 5, 2021 here.
Here are some general things for everyone to keep in mind to help you and others stay safe:
- Stay at home and away from others when you are feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Avoid touching your face
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or sleeve
- Clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Keep physical distancing as much as possible when out in the community. Learn more about physical distancing and why it helps during a pandemic.
- Greet people with a wave instead of a handshake, kiss or hug.
- Take care of your mental well-being and practice self-care.
The province is in a new kind of normal which can come with a lot of feelings of stress or anxiety when things still feel uncertain. Learn more about when “normal” might not feel so normal, and how to manage feelings of uncertainty as you find a new routine.
There’s still a lot to deal with right now. It’s important to find the right type of support for you if you need it. Keep in mind that the support you need can change as time passes. For many people, staying connected to family, friends, and loved ones is important. It is encouraged that you keep up with these connections virtually or remotely via phone, text, or email.
Where can I go to get support?
- Foundry Virtual – Foundry is now offering virtual drop-in counselling sessions by voice, video and chat to young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers.
- Find a Foundry centre in your community – Foundry centres are now re-introducing in person services, but will continue to offer select services virtually – over the phone or video chat. Please call your local Foundry centre for the most up to date information on service availability.
- Kids Help Phone – text CONNECT to 686868 (text STOP, if you would like to stop the conversation)
- Try Pathfinder, Foundry’s 4-step tool to help you find personalized support options
- Find other support options on our Get Support page
Changes to Foundry Centres
The safety, health and well-being of our young people and their families, staff and our community partners is our top priority. We’ve taken a number of measures at Foundry centres to ensure we are aligned with BC Centre for Disease Control’s recommendations. A few of these measures include:
- Plexiglass barriers at reception desk and waiting areas seating being spread out to accommodate for physical distancing
- Staff members practicing physical distancing and being equipped with person protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, etc.
- Adjusting service hours to decrease number of people in center at once
- Hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand rub being available throughout the centre
- Thorough cleaning of all shared equipment (including Toolbox iPads) after each client and all other areas of centre cleaned multiple times throughout the day
Resources available regarding COVID-19
- For non-medical information about COVID-19 call 1 888 COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. or text message 604-630-0300. Information is available in more than 110 languages.
- The BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool can help you decide if you need testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or for someone else, if they are not able to.
Information is changing frequently. Check the BCCDC website for the latest on COVID-19.
Foundry’s Response to COVID-19
Find out more about Foundry’s response through our COVID-19 Report.
COVID-19 Guide for Youth
A summary of the easing restrictions and how to take care of yourself as the province navigates COVID-19.
Resource for Students: Foundry's Virtual Services
This school year, students may be needing additional support. For more information on Foundry's Virtual Services, here is a downloadable pdf for schools.
Tips for When "Normal" Doesn't Feel Normal Anymore
Read below for some ways when “normal” might not feel so normal, and how to manage feelings of uncertainty as you find a new routine.
Want to beat those COVID blues? Get active!
Abigail, from Foundry's own youth advisory committee, has a few ways to keep yourself well during COVID-19.
Physical distancing and why it helps during a pandemic
In response COVID-19 in BC, physical distancing is something we can all do. Read on for more about physical distancing, how it helps, and ideas for what you can do while keeping your distance.
How to Take Care of Yourself When Living With Abuse During a Pandemic
Staying at home may help lessen the spread of COVID-19, but it may not be the safest option for a lot of people. If you feel unsafe at home, keep reading for some ways to take care of yourself and who to contact if you are in need of additional support.
Using Substances in a Safer Way During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread impacts, but one of the most distinct ones is its impact on the ongoing overdose crisis. This article will help you navigate using substances more safely during COVID-19. There is a list of resources at the end of the article.
How To Talk To Your Teens about Coronavirus
As someone supporting a young person, you might have difficulty communicating with them during this global health crisis. We have some tips from one of Foundry BC's counsellors on how to be there for the young person in your life.
COVID-19 Resources List
A full list of resources compiled by the Family Support Institute including health, finance, food, and safety resources.
This page will be updated frequently, as new information becomes available.
Last Updated: January 8, 2021