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

Have you seen the comet? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance

Rare spectacle will be visible throughout July

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Oliver town hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Oliver Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Add a little Spritz and Cider to your summer

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Vancouver Island RCMP respond to reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read