The provincial state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended for the fourth time while businesses begin to reopen under the guidelines of BC's Restart Plan.
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has officially extended the state of emergency through the end of the day on May 26.
A declaration of a state of emergency allows the province to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act.
"Our province continues to be in a state of emergency and we will continue in our co-ordinated response to keep people safe, support our health-care system and ensure our supply chains are secure,” Farnworth said.
During the last two weeks of the provincial state of emergency, the government has opened applications for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers — a one-time tax-free payment of $1,000 — implemented more supports following a rise in racist incidents targeting Asian people during the pandemic and helped the forest sector by deferring stumpage fees for three months, stated a provincial press release.
The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.'s health and emergency management officials. The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further periods of time for 14 days at a time.
The province has created a toll-free number — 1-888-COVID-19 (268-4319) — to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about COVID-19. The call line is available seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. People with questions related to their health and COVID-19 should call 811.
For information on BC's Restart Plan, visit www.gov.bc.ca/RestartBC.
For information on non-medical issues like travel recommendations and how to manage social isolation, visit www.gov.bc.ca/COVID-19.
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, including for employers, businesses and schools, visit http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel).