A COVID-19 sign is pictured on a kiosk as international travellers arrive at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Monday, March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A COVID-19 sign is pictured on a kiosk as international travellers arrive at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Monday, March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Borders, cases, bans: What you need to know about Canada and B.C.’s COVID-19 response

With more than 300 cases and four deaths, Canada and B.C. are taking action

With at least 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, and 103 of them in B.C., provincial and federal officials have put in stringent new measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Currently, Canada has recorded four deaths due to COVID-19, all in B.C.

1. Canada closes borders to almost all foreigners to slow spread of COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed Canada’s borders to all but Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and citizens of the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Trade and commerce will also be allowed to travel across the border.

READ MORE: Canada to close borders to most foreigners, but not to U.S., to slow spread of COVID-19

2. B.C. records three more deaths, four total due to COVID-19

Canada has seen four deaths as a result of COVID-19, all in B.C. Dr. Bonnie Henry said all the deaths have been at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

READ MORE: Three more COVID-19 deaths at B.C. care home, as number of cases grows to 103

3. Ban on all gatherings of 50 or more people in B.C.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a province-wide ban on all gatherings of 50 or more people, tightening measures taken last week. On bars and restaurants, Henry said large establishments that could not abide by the new rules would have to find a way to slow down their operations. Stores like Tim Hortons and Starbucks began to clear out seating as a result of novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: ‘It’s going to be hard’: B.C. bans gatherings of 50+ people to slow COVID-19 transmission

FILE – Many restaurants will have to switch to drive-thrus, delivery or take-out as B.C. brings in a ban on gatherings of 50 people or more. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

4. B.C to cancel all elective surgeries, dentists to cancel non-essential work

Hospitals in B.C. will be cancelling all non-essential surgeries to free up space and staff for novel coronavirus-related cases. Dentists in the province will also halt all work that doesn’t result from acute pain, trauma or infection. Pharmacists will also be able to extend prescriptions without a doctor’s approval.

READ MORE: B.C. hospitals start cancelling elective surgeries in COVID-19 preparations

READ MORE: B.C. dentists to suspend all elective, non-essential dental work due to COVID-19

5. No word on B.C. schools yet

The province’s schools are out for spring break right now but Health Minister Adrian Dix said a decision on what to do would come Tuesday.

READ MORE: ‘Formal announcement’ on B.C. school openings or closures amid COVID-19 expected Tuesday


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seventy-four international students are expected to come to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district for the last half of the 2020021 school year, says the district. (School District 68 image)
Nanaimo school district educating 160 international students during pandemic school year

Fifty-seven students from abroad arrived Jan. 14-18, says SD68

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Nanaimo RCMP investigated after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo RCMP investigating

Officers have searched areas of the mall accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

(News Bulletin file photo)
Car crashes along the Nanaimo Parkway, driver abandons vehicle

Mazda with ‘extensive damage’ found in the ditch in the early-morning hours Jan. 19

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read