VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The B.C. premier has extended the province’s state of emergency as he stresses the next few weeks will be crucial in the global fight against COVID-19.
In an update to the province Tuesday, John Horgan formally declared an extension to the state of emergency, which would have originally ended this week but is now extended until Tuesday, April 14.
He is also asking British Columbians to stick with physical distancing guidelines.
“What we do today will affect what our doctors, nurses and first responders face in the days and weeks ahead,” he says. “Today, we’re asking all British Columbians to re-commit to doing their part. There are early signs that our actions are making a difference, and we can’t stop now.”
Horgan sais the extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations made by health officials like B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
He adds the province is rolling out a new partnership Wednesday to help secure more personal protection equipment for healthcare workers.
“Like hand sanitizer that is being made right now by local distillers and reusable medical garments designed by outdoor clothing companies that we can use to keep our healthcare workers safe and in the supplies that they need,” he says.
Additionally, the provincial government will also be taking steps to support businesses and locals.
“We’re freezing rents, helping evictions and abroad in a new monthly benefit to give you up to $500 to help pay your rent. We created a BC emergency benefit which will give you up to $1,000 indirect financial support if you’ve lost your income.”
As of Tuesday, B.C. has a confirmed total of 970 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths related to the virus.
In an update made by Henry earlier in the day, she said restrictions to contain COVID-19 could extend beyond May and into the summer.