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

Central Okanagan property crime map released

Crime Stoppers releases a report of property crimes across the Central Okanagan for March

Kelowna distillery Forbidden Spirits to provide free sanitizer to community

Those interested are to bring their own bottle of up to four litres

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

40 Under 40: Adam Relvas

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

40 Under 40: Ross Derrick

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

COVID-19 cancels Funtastic 2020

The sports and music festival in Vernon, Enderby and Port Alberni was scheduled for late June

LUCK involved in new Okanagan online campaign

Two Vernon women create giveLUCK to hear about the “beauty of humanity” in these troubled times

Most Read