British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for June 24, 2020

B.C.'s COVID-19 restrictions have been further relaxed ahead of the Canada Day long weekend.

Premier Horgan further eases COVID-19 restrictions, as B.C. enters Phase 3 of restart plan

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced says the province is ready to transition to Phase 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • B.C. has entered Phase 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan.
  • Hotels, resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment venues can now reopen.
  • The transition also allows B.C. residents to travel within the province "respectfully and safely."
  • B.C.'s Housing Ministry has lifted a moratorium on residential tenancy evictions for reasons other than non-payment
  • 14 more people were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday. 
  • B.C. has had 2,849 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date.
  • 171 people have died in B.C.
  • 14 people are in hospital, including six in intensive care.
  • 2,516 people have recovered from their illness.

B.C.'s COVID-19 restrictions have been further relaxed ahead of Canada Day. Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday that the province has entered Phase 3 of its restart plan.

The latest guidelines allow B.C. residents to travel responsibly within the province and for many tourism-related businesses to reopen under the guidance of the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC, including hotels, resorts, spas and RV parks.

The film industry and select entertainment venues, such as movie theatres, are also getting the go ahead.

As the province moves ahead with its Phase 3 restart, officials are reminding the public that the risk of infection still persists.

Residents are asked to maintain their COVID-19 health practices, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and wearing a mask when distancing isn't possible. 

Horgan also reminded the public to keep their social circles small, saying this summer is not the time for "large family gatherings and big parties."

"Although we are going to have a summer that's better than what we thought a few months ago, this is not a return to normal." said the premier.

Horgan also acknowledged that several First Nations communities, including the Heiltsuk, Haida, Nuxalk, and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, have expressed concern about travellers, and that some communities are not prepared to accept tourists.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, meanwhile, warned that B.C. could see a "rapid rebound" in COVID-19 cases, if residents were to get complacent.

"We've been doing it over the last few months and we've been doing it well in British Columbia.⁠ We need to keep that up" she said.

Tenancy laws reinstated, rent increases still on hold

B.C.'s Housing Ministry is once again allowing landlords to evict tenants for reasons other than late payment, or non-payment of rent.

The province issued a moratorium on evictions on March 30, to protect British Columbians from being evicted amidst the COVID-19 emergency. Many of those laws, however, are now back in effect.

Landlords can evict tenants for reasons other than unpaid or late rent — subletting without permission, for instance — and may once again enter a rental suite with 24-hours notice,even without the tenant's consent. They are, however, expected to follow health and safety guidelines such as physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

Existing eviction orders are also back in play. The province says landlords may take the orders to court for enforcement starting July 2.

Rent increases, however, are still suspended, as are evictions for non-payment of rent.

The province says it plans to give people plenty of notice before lifting these restrictions and wants to install a framework that would require landlords to cooperate with tenants on rent repayment.

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Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 4:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Canada had 101,963 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 64,704 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 8,499.

For a look at what's happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick.
  • When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks won't fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

With files from The Canadian Press

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