Pandemic fatigue is pushing people to venture beyond their home and work bubbles to mingle and spend time with others in face to face activities.

Island Health has become concerned that these activities are increasing the transmission of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, helping the virus to spread more quickly.

Cowichan Medical Health Officer, Dr. Shannon Waters says the number of virus cases being found on Vancouver Island is rising and residents need to resist the temptation to resume social gatherings, even if they are small in size.

Dr. Waters urges people to continue following provincial health directives and maintain the personal practices that are known to have been effective in keeping infections relatively low on Vancouver Island.

She also suggests taking advantage of the outdoor recreation opportunities in Cowichan for some fresh air and exercise while maintaining a safe distance from others.

Dr. Waters says fear of the virus leads some to cast blame on others, or resort to racist comments, which do nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“What the general community can do to help get along is really follow the measures that have been talked about provincially: staying close to home, only going out for essential matters, washing your hands, wearing a mask when you’re in a public place”

Dr. Waters says the recent vaccination clinic for the elders of Cowichan Tribes in Duncan went smoothly.

She says it was “a very collaborative effort across Cowichan Tribes and other partners,” and was completed in two days “rather than the three that might have been initially anticipated.”

Island Health sent out a reminder on Friday that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has extended Orders on all gatherings and events to February 5, 2021, at midnight.

The province has also strongly recommended that people limit travel between communities and outside of the province unless it is absolutely essential for work or medical care.