The longest state of emergency in the history of the province has been extended for another two weeks.
“I want to commend everyone in British Columbia for following public health advice to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “However, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and we’re not out of the woods yet. As a government, we are working to ensure the supports people need during this unprecedented time continue to be available, which is why we’re extending the provincial state of emergency today.”
This extension means Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth can continue using his powers under the Emergency Program Act to support BC’s response to the pandemic.
“While some restrictions have been eased, we must stay the course to flatten the COVID-19 curve,” Farnworth said. “This means that even as British Columbians start to carefully adjust to life in Phase 3, we are maintaining the necessary critical supports to respond to and alleviate the effects of this pandemic.”
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 102 new COVID19-confirmed cases between Friday and Monday and said, “The challenge now is that we are no longer having safe connections and that is what is spreading this virus, so we are having clusters in certain environments where people are transmitting this.”
“Now we’re seeing parties, small groups, people going together to restaurants, bars, and clubs, but also in houseboats, resorts, and private homes,” said Dr. Henry.
On July 10, the COVID19 Related Measures Act took effect, enabling provisions created for both individuals and businesses in response to the pandemic to continue, as needed, after the state of emergency ends.
This state of emergency was originally declared on March 18, meaning its been in place for more than four months.
The 2017 wildfire season prompted a ten-week state of emergency.