Another recreation centre in Greater Victoria will close its doors in response to growing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Facebook post, the facility announced all programs and services will cease operation until further notice with the exception of Spring Break Camps which will remain in operation until 5 p.m., Friday, March 20th.
“To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Peninsula Recreation Commission has directed staff to close recreation facilities at 5 p.m. today, March 17th,” the post read.
Earlier today, the province announced the suspension of in-classroom instruction indefinitely.
“As the global pandemic is evolving quickly, we have to take action today to protect our students and staff. The actions we are announcing today are well thought out, supported by education partners,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.
Today under the direction of the provincial health officer, the Ministry of Education instructed all schools to suspend in-classroom instruction indefinitely.
Most students are currently on Spring Break, but all school districts will begin planning now to ensure continuity of learning while in classroom instruction is suspended, once the break ends.
Every student will receive a final mark and all students on track to move on to the next grade will do so. Grade 10 and 11 graduation assessments will be postponed and all grade 12 students on track to graduate will graduate.
Daycares remain open at this time, but due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, Premier John Horgan advises families to prepare for changes at any time.
According to the latest update, there are now 186 cases of novel coronavirus in B.C., including 12 on Vancouver Island.
B.C. has declared a public health emergency which will allow the Ministry of Health to enforce verbal orders without consultation in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In an announcement on Monday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would be tightening its borders and denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
Designated exceptions to this rule include U.S. citizens, airline crews, diplomats, and people whose immediate families are Canadian.
However B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix is still urging Americans not to travel to the province in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Airlines will also receive a formal direction to prohibit all passengers who have symptoms of COVID-19, as assessed by public health officials, from boarding a plane, ensuring no one with any symptoms will be able to enter the country.
Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
Further federal measures to financially support Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable population, are expected to be announced on Wednesday.
There could also be changes announced for the upcoming tax season later this week, allowing more flexibility for individuals and more liquidity for businesses.
The House of Commons may also be reconvened in order to consider passing emergency measures.
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.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 198,011.
Nearly 8,000 people have died from the illness and 81,727 have made a full recovery.