Tuesday March 2, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
The BC Government has again today extended its declaration of a State of Emergency during the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency.
The extension runs to end of day March 16, 2021. That’s one year since the pandemic was declared on March 17, 2020, and in that time the State of Emergency has been extended every two weeks without interruption.
“The State of Emergency allows health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response,” it was stated in a release today at 4 pm.
Premier John Horgan is pleased about the availability of vaccines, but reminded British Columbians yesterday in a news conference that supply depends on federal procurement and offshore production (which also implies the variabilities that can happen with long-distance shipping).
Horgan commends public health experts, front-line health-care workers, essential workers and British Columbians “who are committed to doing their part to keep us all safe”. He adds: “We’re going to get through this together.”
There is a continued reminder to “keep following public health orders so we can get through the next period safely until more vaccines are ready,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, in today’s news release.
Orders continue that restrict gatherings (to household only), wearing masks in all indoor spaces, and allowing essential travel only. Enforcement will include tickets to owners, operators and event organizers who host an event or gathering that contravenes the Public Health Officer’s orders, said Farnworth.
It was stated in today’s release that should the pandemic end, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (as passed July 10, 2020) will continue as needed, to enable provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.