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Safety while shopping especially important during holidays

Common sense tips, provincial regulations should be adhered to during tough second wave

The holiday season brings on shopping not only for gifts and decorations but for festive food and dinner fixings ahead of the big days.

With the hustle, bustle and excitement the holidays can bring, it can be easy to let COVID-19 restrictions fall by the proverbial wayside. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has tightened down restrictions, eliminating a majority of social interactions outside the house, group physical activities, travel, and more for the next two weeks to harness control of the second COVID-19 wave.

As shopping is something all Agassiz-Harrisonites have to go through, it’s especially important to do it safely in the time of COVID.

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Since April, retail stores are to limit the mass gatherings of shoppers and staff to 50 people; this does not apply to grocery stores, but the “spirit of the order” concerning social distancing and the wearing of face coverings should be followed.

“This means that, for example, in large grocery stores where it is feasible to have more than 50 people, while still following appropriate physical distancing, it is acceptable to have over 50 people present at one time,” a guide from the Ministry of Health reads.

Those waiting in line should also ensure they are social distancing – at least two metres apart – from one another.

While there are currently no documented cases of COVID-19 transmission by cash or coin, it’s always wise to clean your hands often if you’re dealing with money, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). To decrease contact or potential exposure, consider pre-paying and curbside pick-up. Using touch-free payment such as debit and credit cards or payment via mobile phone.

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Remember common sense tips anywhere you go, which is especially important as cases are running high in recent weeks. Wash and sanitize your hands often. Sneeze or cough into your sleeve and away from other people. Avoid touching your face, especially the nose and mouth. Practice social distancing by keeping two metres between yourself and others.

If you feel symptoms of a cold or flu or experience fatigue, shortness of breath, fever and a persistent dry cough, contact Fraser Health at and isolate yourself at home for 14 days. The Government of B.C. has a self-assessment tool at bc.thrive.health/covid19 to determine if you should get tested and get a recommended course of action.

If you have been exposed to someone showing these symptoms, self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.

For more information about the latest COVID-19 information, stay tuned to the Observer and contact the Government of Canada’s coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.

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