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

COVID-19: ER nurse from Qualicum Beach self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

Errington Farmers Market to go ahead with planned May opening

Strict safety measures to be put in place

COVID-19: Qualicum school district to start at home learning initiatives April 15

Last week, teachers reached out to families to discuss individual needs

COVID-19: Latest message from Qualicum Beach

Town officials conducted spot inspection on re-opened farmers market

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

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

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

B.C.’s latest employment figures for March show 7.2% increase

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

Most Read