B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update coronavirus cases at the B.C. legislature, March 12, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada in coronavirus pandemic

People who leave for U.S. or elsewhere should expect 14-day isolation

B.C. health officials are recommending people don’t travel outside Canada, and directing organizers cancel any events that expect to host more than 250 people.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday that B.C. residents have a choice whether they want to risk going to the U.S. or another country, but if they do they should expect to be in isolation for 14 days when they return.

“The situation is just too risky right now,” Henry told reporters in Victoria, as sporting events and other large gatherings began to be postponed around North America.

Dix said B.C. schools and post-secondary institutions are to continue operating. Public employees who travel outside Canada will be required to self-isolate by their employers, and everyone should reconsider anything other than essential travel beyond Canada.

“Buy a litre of milk in White Rock instead of a quart of milk in Bellingham,” Dix advised.

Dix acknowledged that it is not within B.C.’s jurisdiction to stop people at the border, “but it’s our expectation that should people go to the United States for something so important that they feel they need to go, that it be important enough that they would choose to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Henry said B.C. has identified seven new cases as of Thursday, for a total of 53. Two of the cases are at a senior care home in West Vancouver, detected during a check for seasonal influenza that is an annual threat to senior facilities every winter. One resident, a man in his 90s, tested positive.

Two are care home employees who also work at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, where Canada’s first COVID-19 death occurred. The employees are a man and woman, both in their 40s, who are recovering at home in the Fraser Health region.

All of the new cases are in the Lower Mainland, including two women who were on a tour of Egypt that has produced other positive tests from returning travellers.

RELATED: B.C. doctor advises people on coronavirus precautions

RELATED: Two COVID-19 cases confirmed at second B.C. care home

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau switched this week’s first ministers’ meeting to a conference call. Horgan is expected to use the national meeting to enhance Employment Insurance sickness benefits to cover a larger portion of a person’s income while they are self-isolating or are in quarantine for COVID-19 exposure.

Horgan also wants EI benefits temporarily exended to workers who currently don’t meet EI qualifications, such as people who are self-employed.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Community of Oliver salutes frontline medical staff

“Honk for the unsung heros. Thanks to each and every one of you”

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

YMCA Okanagan opens child care service to essential workers

Priority given to guardians in top three tiers of essential services as identified by the province

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read