BC Coronavirus: What you need to know for April 16, 2020

BC Coronavirus: What you need to know for April 16, 2020
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Here are some of the biggest storylines you need to know surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia on April 16, 2020.

Here are some of the biggest storylines surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia on April 16, 2020.

Busy day for Trudeau

The Prime Minister has a full slate on Thursday. Justin Trudeau will be making his daily address at 8:15 am PT, which can be live-streamed on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. He is expected to offer updates for small businesses in the form of changes to the eligibility rules for the Canada Emergency Business Account program. Some small and medium-sized businesses have complained they’re not eligible for the interest-free loans. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also join on a conference call with the rest of the G-7 leaders. In addition, he’ll be talking with the premiers and territorial leaders about the importance of boosting wages for essential workers, especially those in long-term care homes.

CAN-USA border differences?

With the ban on non-essential travel set to expire next week, Ottawa and Washington appear to have differing views on when the border should reopen. President Donald Trump is signalling he’s prepared to support easing travel restrictions sooner than later. The US still has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the world, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear that efforts to control the spread of the virus will likely continue for several more weeks.

Long-term care facilities

BC’s top doctor says there are still 21 ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 at long-term care or assisted living facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says 265 of B-C’s 15-hundred-61 cases are affiliated with these facilities. Henry says three additional cases have been identified in relation to an ongoing outbreak at a West Kelowna nursery, where 26 people have tested positive so far. There are now 48 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at a federal medium-security prison in Mission, including seven people who are hospitalized.

BC business update

The BC Government is expected to give an update for businesses in BC during the COVID-19 landscape on Thursday morning. Carole James, Minister of Finance, and Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, will be available to provide information on new provincial measures providing relief for businesses and local governments facing financial pressures as a result of COVID-19. More information should be available on this announcement after 9 am.

Mental health for post-secondary students

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, will be making an announcement about mental-health services for post-secondary students in B.C. on Thursday afternoon. Their announcement is scheduled for 1 pm PT and it will be available for live-streaming on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. One week ago, the BC Government announced they were putting $5 million in funding towards expanding current mental health programs for British Columbians.

No announcement from Dr. Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are releasing the update on the current COVID-19 numbers in BC in a statement Thursday, as opposed to a press conference. Yesterday’s announcement revealed the first death from COVID-19 in the Island Health region. The death toll in British Columbia has now reached 75. There are currently 131 people in hospital, including 59 in critical or intensive care, while 955 people in BC have recovered from the disease.

Vancouver Aquarium facing permanent closure

The Vancouver Aquarium could close for good in two months if it’s unable to secure at least a million dollars a month in immediate financial support. Lasse Gustavsson, the C-E-O of Ocean Wise, which operates the aquarium, says they expect to lose 3.3-million-dollars a month after shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He says Ocean Wise applied for 9.5-million-dollars in emergency funding from the federal government three weeks ago and he’s talked to several different federal ministries, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the province. Gustavsson says his sense is that they want to help, but he admits the situation is a disaster for the aquarium and he’s not sure how its 70-thousand animals – from spiders to seas lions – would be cared for if it closed permanently.

Elsewhere in Canada: RBC Canadian Open cancelled

The PGA Tour has cancelled this year’s RBC Canadian Open due to the coronavirus pandemic. The four-day tournament was set to begin June 11th at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto. The Canadian Open is the third-oldest continuously running tournament on the PGA Tour after the British Open and the US Open.




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