Premier John Horgan extends B.C. state of emergency due to COVID-19

BC Premier John Horgan addressed British Columbians on March 31, 2020.

Premier John Horgan has extended British Columbia’s state of emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The state of emergency is in place for another two weeks. The province can choose to extend it further.

The premier gave a provincewide address on Tuesday night, where he outlined what the B.C. government has done so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been nine weeks since the first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in B.C.,” Horgan said.

“Since then we’ve activated our pandemic response. We have tough days ahead.”

Horgan thanked those who were staying home and doing their part. He reminded people to stay home as much as possible and to stay at least two metres away from each other, adding that it is the law. Horgan said the next 14 days will determine whether B.C. is able to “bend the curve” of the COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

“You might not feel it in your living room but everyone in B.C. is pulling together,” Horgan said. Horgan also thanked to health-care workers responding to the crisis, and said the province is “leaving no stone unturned” to make sure there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

Horgan mentioned both the rent freeze and the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers. 

Earlier Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that any of the provincial orders in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 would be lifted before May.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said she did not expect life to return to some form of normal until at least the summer.

“I haven’t given up hope entirely that we may get a reprieve in the summer although how much of a reprieve is yet to be seen. I don’t believe that we will have all of these restrictions for all of that time. This is a critical time for our first wave,” she said.

“We’ve seen in other countries that we do reach a peak and then things start to come down. We need to hold the course right now. I don’t think we need to be this locked down for many, many months. The next few weeks are really critical.”

On Tuesday, B.C. surpassed the 1,000 COVID-19 case mark. The province has now recorded 24 COVID-19-related deaths. 


Graham CoxGraham Cox

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