Premier John Horgan (Colin Smith Takes Pics)

The provincial government announced on Tuesday that it has formally extended BC’s state of emergency.

It will continue through the end of the day on March 16th.

A provincial declaration of a state of emergency allows the province to implement provincial emergency measures and access assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency.

This week, the province announced it was commencing Phase 2 of its vaccination rollout, which expands the demographic of people who can receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

“Vaccines have already saved the lives of some of our most vulnerable, and yesterday we announced the next phase,” said Premier John Horgan.

With AstraZeneca’s approval last Friday and the window between second doses widening, Dr. Henry expressed her optimism that by mid-July, anyone who wants to get immunized, may do so.

There is hope that with more vulnerable populations immunized and the protection a single-dose provides, that the state of emergency will be lifted sooner.

The original declaration of BC’s state of emergency was made on March 18, 2020.

The Province, together with law enforcement, continues to enforce measures under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We need to keep following public health orders so we can all get through this next period safely until more vaccines are ready,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“In the meantime, orders will continue to be enforced for those who refuse to do their part and risk undoing the progress we’ve made so far.”

According to the province, 1,058 violation tickets for contraventions of provincial guidelines were issued from August 21st, 2020 to February 12th, 2021.

Police have issued 94 violation tickets, totalling $102,695, to individuals who were in violation of the Federal Quarantine Act.

Further extensions of the provincial state of emergency can be made for periods of up to 14 days at a time.

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