(Dr. Bonnie Henry walking down the hallway leading to the press theatre inside the B.C. Legislature/Photo by Colin Smith Takes Pics)

British Columbia remains in the longest state of emergency the province has ever seen after a further extension on Tuesday.

Premier John Horgan has extended the provincial state of emergency for the ninth time on July 21 after the previous extension period ran out.

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth initially declared a state of emergency on March 18 as a result of COVID-19, which was originally in effect for 14 days.

See also: “We are on the edge”: Uptick in B.C. COVID-19 cases attributed to social gatherings

It was then extended eight times by Premier Horgan, on March 31, April 15, April 29, May 13th, May 27, June 10, June 24, and July 7.

Tuesday’s announcement further extends the state of emergency until the end of day on August 4, 2020.

“While some restrictions have been eased, we must stay the course to flatten the COVID-19 curve,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in a statement Tuesday.

“This means that even as British Columbians start to carefully adjust to life in Phase 3, we are maintaining the necessary critical supports to respond to and alleviate the effects of this pandemic.”

Declarations of emergency can be extended by the province by increments of 14 days at a time.

The province has recently seen an increase in the number of daily cases, with more than 30 new COVID-19 cases declared per day for three days in a row. For over a month now, that rate was hovering at around 10 per 24 hour reporting period.

A large portion of these were attributed to a series of social gatherings in which young people, particularly those in their 20s or 30s, have been gathering in more than one group.


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