The total confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in B.C. has made a jump by 45 as of Wednesday, March 18th, bringing the total number within the province to 231.
In a daily report on Wednesday afternoon, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that nine of British Columbia’s cases have been reported in the interior health region.
“These are extraordinary times and we took a number of extraordinary measures in the last couple of days to try and do everything we can to try stopping the transmission of this virus in our communities and flatten out the curve over the next seven to 10 days,” said Dr. Henry.
The updates come on the same day the province has declared a state of emergency over the spread of the coronavirus.
Henry added that the measures put in place are meant to ensure essential businesses can keep operating in the community. She also offered clarification on measures that businesses are asked to take for the time being.
“That will mean enhanced cleaning in your premises, but also for employees for the premise so they can clean their hands frequently,” said Henry. “It can be tailored to your business. For some people, the social distancing requirement, for a large grocery store, that may mean you can accommodate several hundred people without them coming into close contact with one another, if it’s a very small business, it may have to be one at a time or very few people.”
Henry added that industrial sites are recommended to use staggered breaks and reduced staff if possible to ensure that social distancing can be accommodated.
For the time being, child care services will not be asked to close by the Provincial Government, as they are seen as necessary.
“We have not recommended a blanket closing of child care services because they are essential services for our parents that work in essential services as well. However, as we implement these broad social measures to delay transmission of COVID-19, many parents are working from home and caring for their children at home,” said Henry.
Henry added that it is important for residents to work together during the ongoing situation.
“I will implore all of you to be kind, to be calm, and be safe. We will get through the next few weeks together,” concluded Henry.
*** Story by Ryley McCormack ***