Fraser Health president and CEO Victoria Lee is calling on celebrants of Diwali, Karwa Chauth and other festivals to celebrate only at home with members of their immediate households as COVID-19 cases continue to rapidly rise in this region.
This year Diwali fall on Saturday, Nov. 14.
“Each of us plays an important role in reducing transmission of COVID-19 in our communities and at this time we’re asking everyone to limit their social activities and celebrate and interact with members of your household only,” Lee said in a teleconference call on Friday. “Many of you have made sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic and we must remain vigilant at this time. Please say strong and committed for your own health, and for your loved ones.”
According to the latest information posted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, by Thursday there had been 131 confirmed deaths in the Fraser Health Region from COVID-19.
For all of B.C., 112 cases were reported on Sept. 30 and in comparison, 584 were reported on Nov. 11, of cases recorded day by day. Similarly, there were 49 cases in the Fraser Health Region for the day on Sept. 30 and 409 on Nov. 11.
The Fraser Health Region issued an information bulletin Friday asking that people follow the guidelines listed below.
· Please celebrate milestones and celebrations at home, and with only the members of your immediate household. Please do not have people in your home for a celebration or party if they don’t already live there. Please do not have outdoor gatherings with people who are not part of your immediate household.
· Connect virtually through a video call or by phone with extended family, friends, and loved ones, and say no to in-person invitations.
· Sharing food buffet style is not safe right now and if you are preparing festive meals for your household, put them on a separate plate for each person.
· Please wear a mask when shopping for festival celebrations, and if you are feeling unwell, stay home and ask someone who lives in your home to shop for you.
· Keep in mind that churches and other religious centres have put important COVID-19 safety measures in place to protect you, including physical distancing. As long as those safety plans are in place, you can continue to worship there.
Celebrate Diwali by joining live stream prayers and lighting Divaa or Diya at home. We have listed some online events below but check with your local place of worship as they may have additional events planned. Download some of our translated shareable resources to spread the word about ways to celebrate safely.