B.C. Premier John Horgan takes questions at the B.C. legislature, February 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan takes questions at the B.C. legislature, February 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 outlook coming in early May, Premier Horgan says

No additional travel restrictions, provincial parks stay closed

As other provinces prepare to release plans for restoring services and activities in the coronavirus pandemic, B.C. Premier John Horgan is remaining cautious about keeping a lid on risks of COVID-19 transmission.

“What I know for sure is that British Columbians don’t want to give up the progress we’ve made,” Horgan said as he took questions from reporters after his weekly cabinet meeting April 22.

That means non-essential travel continues to be discouraged and provincial parks remain closed to help keep people close to home as spring weather arrives, Horgan said. It does not mean additional travel restrictions on B.C. Ferries or other transportatation beyond what has been announced by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Horgan said expects to have a province-wide address prepared before the middle of May, but daily developments such as a COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry processing facility in Vancouver this week show how quickly things can change. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan are moving ahead this week, with much lower case counts than B.C., Ontario and Quebec.

RELATED: Five COVID-19 outbreaks over at Lower Mainland care homes

RELATED: Ottawa pledges new benefit for post-secondary students

One initiative announced by Horgan is a new focus on the province’s long-term project to increase broadband internet service to every populated corner of B.C. Horgan said he has instructed Citizens’ Services Minister Anne Kang to “accelerate” the program, partly due to the need for online delivery of health assessments by doctors and nurse practitioners.

Horgan also announced the latest of a series of urgent primary health care centres will open next week in the James Bay area of Victoria, saying the growing network of group clinics is more important now that the pandemic has occupied hospitals and kept many people away from them.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said April 21 a new urgent care centre in Vernon now has a permanent location. Another in Abbotsford has been in operation since April 17 as a COVID-19 assessment centre and will turn to general urgent care “at an appropriate time.”

Another urgent primary care centre opened April 6 in Castlegar, in a program begun two years ago to address the shortage of family doctors in many B.C. communities.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

(File Photo)
Sparwood accepting submissions for 2021 Street Art Banner Program

Artwork depicting a love for Sparwood’s community and heritage will be accepted until Feb. 19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(File photo)
Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Teck’s Elk Valley operations over

48 cases were linked to three Teck locations in the Elk Valley

Joanna and Aysha Haines opened their business, Drift and Sonder, on Jan. 22. (Soranne Floarea)
New businesses popping up in Fernie despite pandemic headwinds

More businesses in Fernie have opened than closed their doors since the pandemic began

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Most Read