The BC government announced on Tuesday it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, that has been in effect since mid-March.
The province said the declaration allows Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
“The vast majority of British Columbians are following Dr. Henry’s orders of seeing fewer faces in bigger spaces, but we all have to remain committed to flattening the curve,” said BC Premier John Horgan. “British Columbians have sacrificed a lot to keep transmission rates down, and now unsafe parties and gatherings are eroding that hard work. We’re committed to getting our province back on track and will be announcing enforcement action against those who continue to put others at risk.”
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on September 1, 2020.
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“We put these orders in place for a reason, and they are not optional,” Farnworth said. “Public health orders must be followed to ensure public safety, and I will be bringing in new measures later this week to address the actions of those who demonstrate their indifference to the health and safety of others.”
The province said the extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from BC’s health and emergency management officials.
Farnworth made the original declaration on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.