The Vancouver Island Health Authority is asking you to stay home this Family Day.

It says it understands the urge to meet up with family members but even small gatherings can present a significant risk for spreading the virus.

That’s been the case especially in mid-island, where Greater Nanaimo has seen a rise in cases over the past four weeks. 

Island Health says while social interaction and getting together with others in person and online is important to our wellbeing, there are many options to do so safely.

This includes heading outside.

The health authority says the outdoors has been a refuge for many during the pandemic, and despite the snow this weekend, it’s encouraging you to take advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities within your local community.

You can go for a walk with someone outside your household, as long as it does not turn into a group of people meeting outside. Pick a family member or friend and connect safely this long weekend.

Some other reminders from Island Health are:

  • Do not travel outside of your community, unless it is necessary for work or medical appointments;
  • Socialize only with your household, or core bubble if you live alone – don’t invite friends or family over to your home or go to someone else’s home for a social visit, games, dinner, or a backyard hangout;
  •  Maintain a physical distance of 2-metres with people outside your immediate household;
  •  Staying home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or feeling sick or unwell (except to seek testing or medical care