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Vancouver now under local state of emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Mar 19, 2020 at 1:39 pm PDT

(Courtesy: Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

A local state of emergency has been unanimously approved by city council to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Vancouver's mayor indicated he's also prepared to set limits on the sale of certain goods to prevent hoarding

Under the order, front-line workers are able to take action against businesses defying orders to close

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver council unanimously approved a local state of emergency Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration, effective immediately, gives front-line municipal workers special powers to ensure essential services are protected.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the declaration also allows the city to take action against businesses defying orders to close, and to halt hoarders by setting limits on the sale of certain products.

Stewart also told councillors he decided to move forward with the motion after police identified “over 20” bars and restaurants that defied an order to close on St. Patrick’s Day.

The decision was made via a virtual meeting at city hall. Councillors were able to dial in by phone to ask questions before voting on the order.