(Elements Casino/Google Photos)

The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and British Columbia Lottery Corporation have temporarily closed all casinos on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in British Columbia.

As of Sunday, March 15th both companies said it would suspend all operations in both B.C. and Ontario, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“While there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, this measure has been deemed to be in the best interests of the public’s health and the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the corporation said in a statement on its website Sunday evening.

See also: Check out all our latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

Great Canadian operates the Elements Casino in View Royal, casinos in Nanaimo, and a bingo hall in Esquimalt.

They also operate six casinos in Metro Vancouver, including River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, Elements in Surrey, Elements in Chilliwack, Chances in Maple Ridge, and the Hastings Racecourse and Casino in Vancouver.

The company did not give a reopening date.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

So far, there is only one case of COVID-19 in Victoria – a 63-year-old man who returned from travelling in Egypt, and is recovering at home in isolation.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 175,769.

Nearly 6,800 people have died from the illness and 77,868 have made a full recovery.

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