Health Experts In BC Say It's OK To Meet Up With Your 'COVID Friend' If You're Careful
Just don't go overboard.
There's a ton of confusion over how to stay safe and follow the social distancing guidelines in B.C. Now, a couple of experts are speaking out to help clear up the uncertainty around the phrase. According to them, you can meet with friends as long as everybody respects social distancing.
Dr. Mariana Brussoni is an associate professor with UBC's School of Population & Public Health.
"You can be outside, you can be with your friends at the minimum two-meter distance," she told Narcity. "As long as you respect those things, then by all means, you can interact with your friends."
However, she added that you should be careful to avoid . But one or two people is fine, she said.
Dr. Tom Koch, an adjunct professor at UBC and an expert in medical geography, agrees.
He told Narcity the basic idea of social distancing is maintaining two metres of distance between you and others. "At least in theory," he wrote, "you can visit friends or have them visit you if that distance is maintained."
However, Koch stressed that it's possible your friend is infected but just isn't showing symptoms, and that it's possible they spread virus onto surfaces you later touch.
B.C. doesn't have specific regulations or a position on seeing friends while social distancing, but they recommend you stay home.
We reached the province for comment, this will be updated.
Brussoni also stated that you can have close contact with a friend if you both limit your socialization to each other.
"If you have two single people who are not seeing anybody else who decide, you know, you're my COVID friend, then that seems reasonable to me," she said.
The experts disagreed over whether you can bring your housemate along to shop with you. For Koch, he believes most shops allow you to shop with another.
However, Brussoni advised you have one person per household shopping at a time.
"The more people that go in, the harder it is for everybody, and the more potential exposure you have to COVID-19," she said.
"Some say 'We're making this up as we go along,' and that's correct," said Koch, continuing that theeverywhere.
"We're making it up in each jurisdiction. The rules are in some places and contexts I think over-strict but that's to set a high bar to prevent infective transmission."