B.C. provincial health officer says risk of contracting COVID-19 outdoors while practicing safe distancing measures is minimal.

Originally featured on Cycling Magazine on April 30, 2020.


“Please, go outside,” was the recommendation from B.C.’s provincial health officer on Wednesday. Dr. Bonnie Henry added that it is still critical to maintain distance and only be outside with your immediate family.

“Go outside with your family, but stay away, keep your distance,” Dr. Henry said in her daily briefing on the pandemic. “Smile, talk to your neighbour, wave to them, be supportive of each other, but do it in a way that maintains that distance.”

RELATED: The complete guide to cycling during COVID-19

B.C.’s provincial health officer said that the risk of catching COVID-19 from someone else outside is minimal.

“We always say ‘never say never’ in medicine,” Dr. Henry said, “but the risk would be infinitesimally small if somebody walks by you, runs by you — even if they are within six feet.”

Dr. Henry added that anyone feeling sick should still be staying home.

Be cautious, be kind

While talking about the importance of outdoor activity, Dr. Henry emphasized the importance of continued caution, but also the importance of community.

“Right now we, need to be very cautious. We need to be kind to each other,” she said.

Distance is still crucial

While Dr. Henry encouraged outdoor activity, as is also recommended by the federal government, she repeated that distancing measures are still important.

Numerous parks, including all provincial parks, have been closed in B.C. during the pandemic after users failed to observe social distancing orders. Still, the B.C. provincial health officer is recommending people take advantage of the spaces that remain open, as long as they do so within guidelines.

If you are riding outside during COVID-19 it is important to do so safely. If you have questions about how to ride safely during COVID-19, or what types of riding outside is OK, you can read the Canadian Cycling Magazine Complete Guide to Cycling During COVID-19.