Provincial Health Officer:
- 66 new confirmed cases in BC, total of 725
- 62 confirmed cases in Interior Health
- No further Long Term Care centre outbreaks
- No new deaths (14 total).
- As of March 24, over 31,000 tests had been conducted.
- The federal Quarantine Act is now in full effect, all returning international travellers MUST self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- Tomorrow there will be a briefing at 10:30am to discuss modelling for COVID in BC going forward. There will be a “worst-case scenario” model released.
- Tomorrow there will be another regular case update at 3pm, and another at noon Saturday.
- The COVID-19 Response Update can be found here.
Emergency Management BC:
A number of sweeping orders were issued by the Minister of Public Safety today. Full release here.
The province has defined what constitutes “Essential Services”, they can be found in a backgrounder at the bottom of the release above. All government functions and services are includes at all levels.
- Supply chain: Establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution; taking a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail; and suspending any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day.
- Protecting consumers: Banning the secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies; and restricting quantities of items purchased at point of sale.
- Enforcement: Enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act.
- Travel: Ensuring all passenger and car-ferry services provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, and essential goods and workers.
- Protecting B.C.’s most vulnerable: Making it easier to support critical services for vulnerable people, like food banks and shelters.
- Co-ordination: Suspending local states of emergency specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, except for the City of Vancouver; giving municipal councils the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions; and co-ordinating potential use of local publicly owned facilities, like community centres, for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.
- The legal order itself can be found here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/mo/2020_m084
- Through this order, all States of Local Emergency in the province have been rescinded, and EMBC will now be taking a larger role in centralized coordination.
- As per provincial order, Kamloops, Merritt and Clearwater are no longer in states of emergency. Read more about Ministerial Orders for Local Government here.
- There is a presumptive COVID-19 case at the Sahali Save-On Foods pharmacy in Kamloops. More info here.