(Premier John Horgan/Province of B.C.)

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 13th time on September 15 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.

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It was then extended 12 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, August 18, and September 1.

Tuesday’s announcement further extends the state of emergency until the end of day on September 29, 2020.

“Government and public health officials are doing what we can to fight this pandemic, but individual responsibility is going to play a major role in how this pandemic turns out,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement.

“As we head into fall, every one of us needs to be following public health guidance to the letter so we can keep schools safe, keep the economy moving and flatten the curve.”

The statement went 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 is still in the midst of 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.

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