COVID-19 Public Health and Government News

 We have listed below a summary of official government announcements and current public health orders. Each category listed contains information that will be helpful to you. As information is updated quickly, we will keep adding relevant links to this document. We would like to thank our colleague, MLA Bowinn Ma for the template for this page. 

Official BC Government COVID-19 Site

COVID-19 Public Health & Government News

Highlighted items are new or updated this week. (Last updated: April 6, 2020)

⛔️ Public Health Emergency declared, effective March 17, 2020.
⛔️ Provincial State of Emergency declared, effective March 18, 2020. New Ministerial Orders March 26, 2020.

⛔️ Violations of Public Health Orders (!!) can carry fines of over $25,000 or jail time. For compliance & enforcement, contact local gov’t bylaw offices: City NVan – District NVan – West Van
❌ Gatherings are banned.!!
🧍↔️🧍 Maintain 2m distance from others.!!
🏠 Stay home as much as possible, do not visit with friends (call them instead).!!
🌳 It’s okay to go outside for fresh air and exercise, but stay away from others.!!
😷 Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.!!

⛔️ Scheduled elective surgeries and procedures are being postponed.
🩺 Choose virtual health care services whenever available, physicians will be compensated.
💊 Physician notes are NOT required for prescription refills by pharmacists.
🦷 Dentists should be providing emergency services only at this time. Services available from other regulated health care professionals (RMT, physiotherapy, chiropractic, etc) may also be limited at this time.
🧹Enhanced infection prevention and control in long-term care and assisted living homes to be provided through new EquipCare BC program.
👩 Workers and volunteers in long-term care may no longer work at multiple facilities.!!
🏥 Visitor restrictions are in place for all Vancouver Coastal Health facilities, including hospitals, long-term care, assisted living sites, community health centres and clinics. For those living in other health authority areas, check online before you go.
🚘 Parking at all health authority owned/operated health care sites is now free for staff, patients, and visitors.
⚕️ MSP coverage wait times are waived for those who have been out of province and returned.
💉 Safe prescription alternatives to the illegal drug supply available to people who use substances.

⛔️ Immediate halt on all evictions, except for extreme case involving safety concerns and court-ordered evictions. View Q&As here.
⛔️ Freeze on rental rates. No rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1. View Q&As here.
⛔️ Landlords may now restrict use of common areas by tenants or guests.
⛔️ Landlords may not enter tenants’ homes without their expressed consent, unless there is a clear threat to people or property.
⚡ BC Hydro is halting all service disconnections for non-payment of bills and offering financial relief for bills.
💵 Click here for financial supports: Housing.

🚗 Autoinsurance
—–Renew auto insurance by email or phone.
—–Remote extensions for driver licensing available. All requests for medical information temporarily postponed. Call 1-800-950-1498.
⛴️ BC Ferries: Substantial service reductions in effect.
⛴️ BC Inland Ferries continue to operate. Passengers are asked to stay in their cars during the sailing. Avoid non-essential travel.
🚌 BC TransitTransLink: Rear door, fare-free boarding on all buses. Those with accessibility needs can still load at front. Service reductions in effect: Check online before you go.
💵 Click here for financial supports.

⛔️ The resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning products and other essential supplies is prohibited.
🛍️ Do not use reusable bags or containers when shopping.
🥄 Sale of bulk foods are prohibited, except those dispensed via gravity feed bins, or where staff dispense the bulk items.
🍷 BC Liquor Stores will stay open, though on reduced hours.
🥡 Restaurants are open for pick-up/delivery service only.!!
🍻 Restaurants may now sell liquor products with meals for pick-up/delivery using staff with Serving-It-Right certification.
🍸 Liquor distilleries are now permitted to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
🍅 Only food vendors are allowed at “farmers markets” or “community markets”. !! Online farmer’s markets opening soon.
❌ By public health order, the following are closed throughout BC:
—–💇 Personal service establishments, such as salons, spas, massage, tattoo parlours, etc.!!
—–🎰 Casinos.!!
—–🍻 Liquor-primary establishments, such as bars and clubs.!!
ℹ️ Read more: Essential Services List
ℹ️ Read more: Guidance to retail food & grocery stores

💡 BC Service Centres will stay open, but the first hour of service is dedicated to seniors and other vulnerable people. You can also call for service: 1-800-663-7867.
🍁 In-Person Canada Service Centres are now closed. Apply for benefits online.
⚖️ Limitation periods to commence court proceedings have been suspended.
🆘 bc211 is now also available to match volunteers with seniors in need of help with groceries, etc. Call 2-1-1 or visit online.

⛔️ The Squamish Nation has closed their communities to visitors. Check for notices before heading into local First Nations communities.
🏊 Community centres, playgrounds, and sports fields may be closed. Check before you go: City NVan – District NVan – West Van – NVSD 44
🏞️ Parks Canada: Visitor services at all national parks and historic sites are closed.
🏞️ BC Parks: Some parks and facilities may be closed. Check online before you go.
⛺ All campgrounds are closed.
🤾‍♂️ BC Summer Games has been cancelled.
ℹ️ Read more: In-province travel restrictions

📚 Financial supports available for post-secondary students.
🧘 Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue despite school closures and training interruptions.
🤸 Youth in care will not age out of services during the pandemic.
🏫 In-class instruction is suspended at all K-12 schools, but continuous learning is available.
👪 Childcare matching service available for essential service workers with kids 0-5. Call 1-888-338-6622 or register online.
👶 All parents who can, should care for their children at home. This makes it easier for providers to follow enhanced preventative health measures.
🧸 Enhanced government funding is available for child care providers that stay open and that close. Providers receiving enhanced government funding (above) cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program. (Effective April 2020)
💵 Click here for financial supports.
ℹ️ Read More: BC Government COVID-19 child care supports

⛔️ Employers cannot require a doctors notes or testing for people to stay home from work.!!
🏪 All businesses must adjust their operations to meet social distancing orders and should implement enhanced cleaning, or close.!!
🏪 All workplaces must ensure a safe working environment.
🧍 Workers may take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19, retroactive to Jan 27, 2020.
🧍 Workers now have three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury. This is a permanent change.
⚡ BC Hydro is halting all service disconnections for non-payment of bills and offering financial relief for bills.
💪 Companies looking to offer support or supplies to help with the fight against COVID-19 can do so through the COVID-19 Supplier Hub.
💵 Click here for financial supports: Employment & Income Assistance.
💵 Click here for financial supports: Businesses.
ℹ️ Read more: Guidance for active construction sites
ℹ️ Read more: Guidance for manufacturers
ℹ️ Read more: Guidance for mining and smelting
ℹ️ Read more: Guidelines industrial camps

🍁 Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada now while they are still able. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email for assistance.
❌ All Canadian borders are closed to non-essential travellers who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents and their immediate family.
⛔️ Avoid all non-essential travel.
⛔️ Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be actively refused boarding onto all aircraft and trains, including for travel within Canada.
✈️ Overseas international flights entering Canada will be restricted to YVR, YYZ, YUL, YYC only.
⚠️ Travellers entering the country must self-isolate for fourteen days.!! Violations carry a maximum fine of $750,000 and 6 months in jail.
💵 Click here for financial supports re: travel.

Do Your Part: Slowing Transmission of COVID-19

It continues to be extremely important that everyone works to prevent the spread of this disease. Even if you do not personally feel like you are at risk of getting sick, we must each do our part to protect other, more vulnerable community members. Slowing transmission helps our health care system keep up with the disease.

👏 Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds
🤧 Sneeze/cough into your elbow
🚫 Avoid touching your face
🧍↔️🧍 Maintain 2m distance from others
😷 SELF-ISOLATE if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.

 Do I need testing?

Find out by using the online BC COVID-19 Self Assessment tool:

 Do I need to stockpile food and supplies?
Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly. There is no need to stockpile and the Government of BC will work with retailers and industry to restrict quantities of certain items purchased at point of sale to make sure there is enough supply for those who need them.

 Where do I go if I have questions?

If you need help or would like to give help to others:

  • Call: 2-1-1* ☎️

If you are looking for medical information about COVID-19:

  • Call: 8-1-1* ☎️

If you are looking for non-medical information about COVID-19:

  • Call: 1-888-COVID-19* ☎️
  • Text: 604-630-0300 📱
  • Online: BC CDC 🌐

*Translation available in over 100 languages

Official Information Sources

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis. Thus, please take note of the following links so that you can stay up to date:

Official Health Information on COVID-19
Be cautious of information you read about the virus online. Stick with reputable sites such as:

Travel Advisories & Border Control
Travel advisories and border control directives are issued by the Government of Canada. Visit Travel Advisories to see the latest advice on travel.

Emergency and Urgent Care Facility Wait Times
Medical facilities may be under increased burden during these times. Visit ED Wait Times to see the wait times for emergency and urgent facilities in Vancouver, Richmond, and North Shore.