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 12th time on September 1 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.
It was then extended 11 times by Premier Horgan, on March 31, April 15, April 29, May 13th, May 27, June 10, June 24, July 7, July 22, August 4, and August 18.
Tuesday’s announcement further extends the state of emergency until the end of day on September 15, 2020.
“It’s encouraging to see the vast majority of British Columbians following public health rules to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement.
“However, there remains a small group of people ignoring Dr. Henry’s orders and threatening our hard work over the past several months to flatten the curve. This pandemic is not over, and whether it’s an end-of-summer gathering or hockey celebration, this is not the time to bend or break the rules.”
The statement goes on to add that the state of emergency allows the province to keep in place measures like the ones that allow police officers to issue violation tickets for party hosts and guests that flaunt COVID-19 safety rules.
In the first week of these new enforcement measures (Aug. 21 -n28), 10 violation tickets were issued. This includes six $2,000 violation tickets for contraventions of the PHO’s order on gatherings and events, and four $200 violation tickets issued to individuals.
Declarations of emergency can be extended by the province by increments of 14 days at a time.
The province has recently seen a major spike in the number of daily cases, with 294 new cases reported over the course of three days.
A large portion of these have been attributed to private events, social gatherings, and workplace exposures.