In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. Government has made the call to extend its state of emergency until at least July 21st to allow for a coordinated effort against the virus.
The Provincial Government said that it will continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support its response to the illness.
“We’re starting to see some restrictions lifting, but there are measures we need to keep in place to continue battling COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine.”
B.C. will be under the state of emergency for another 14 days, at which point the Provincial Government will either end it or extend it further if need be. The Province said this will allow it to continue its efforts to keep B.C. residents safe while it works on measures that would allow the state of emergency to be lifted.
“We’ve made a commitment to British Columbians to do all that we can to keep COVID-19 at bay,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The extension of the state of emergency will allow us to keep orders in place to ensure public safety until measures are in place to transition out of the state of emergency.”
The state of emergency was initially declared on March 18, and it has been extended in two-week intervals ever since. Now at 18 weeks long, it is the longest State of Emergency in the province’s history. The previous record was during the 2017 forest fire season, which lasted 10 weeks, from July 7th to September 15th.
More: B.C. Government Declares State of Emergency (March 18)