Valentine’s Day will likely look quite different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, said there’s some risk involved with the annual tradition of handing out cards in schools.

He said kids in the same cohort or class could still be physical distancing from each other, but there’s a risk if they share items.

“The risk here would be if someone did have COVID-19, and did touch all those cards and then pass those cards out, and the person who touched the card afterwards touched their nose, their mouth, their eyes, and there’s enough virus let’s say, on that card,” he said at a teleconference on Tuesday.

“There’s always that chance of self-inoculation from a foreign object.”

Atwal added that the disease can live on surfaces for a short period of time.

“We don’t want people sharing items,” he said.

“But it’s not like it’s the same level of risk as sharing a drink or sharing a food item.”

Health officials said that the risk of transmitting COVID-19 through a valentine is low, but it does exist.

The province said specific messaging for the holiday will be coming soon.

THE IMPACT ON KIDS

When asked about the parents who are trying to keep a sense of normalcy for their kids in the pandemic, Atwal said there is currently a lot of concern regarding mental health.

“We’ve had these restrictions in place, we are limiting in-person contact with others, obviously,” he said.

“There are other ways to connect, as well, with individuals.”