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Province extends state of emergency to Aug. 4th

The provincial state of emergency is being extended for another two weeks.

It will now last until the end of the day on Aug. 4th.

This will allow B.C. solicitor general Mike Farnworth to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province’s pandemic response.

“I want to commend everyone in British Columbia for following public health advice to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” Premier John Horgan said. 

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“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.”

The province reported a spike in COVID-19 cases on Monday with 102 new ones since last Friday. 

Another 30 new cases were reported across B.C. yesterday, bringing the provincial total to 3,328 heading into today’s briefing.

Farnworth said that while some restrictions have been eased, “we must stay the course to flatten the COVID-19 curve.” 

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“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,” he added.  

Actions taken in the previous two weeks include:

  • releasing an economic and fiscal update for 2020-21 to provide a summary of COVID-19 investments to date, as well as a scenario of revenue and deficit projections;
  • extending the temporary authorization that permits food-primary and liquor-primary licensees to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • laying out the details of a repayment framework to be put in place later this summer, helping renters and landlords to transition and tenants in arrears to maintain their housing when the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted ahead of Sept. 1.

The extension is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. 

Farnworth made the original declaration on March 18th, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.

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Quick Facts:

  • Declarations of provincial states of emergency may be issued by the minister responsible under the Emergency Program Act.
  • The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further periods of time for up to 14 days at a time.
  • During the 2017 wildfire season, the province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks from July 7 to Sept. 15.
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