Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. will use police to enforce health orders if necessary. (B.C. government)

COVID-19 precautions ‘not optional,’ B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

U.S. coronavirus study proves young people get seriously ill

Keeping at least one metre apart, covering coughs and washing your hands frequently aren’t just suggestions, they are orders in B.C.’s war on COVID-19.

That’s the message being sent more forcefully by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix as new cases pile up by dozens per day, and the health care system waits for new shipments of N95 medical masks and ventilators for intensive care.

B.C.’s emergency powers allow police enforcement at any time, to ration supplies or detain people who don’t think the rules apply to them.

“This is not optional, and I want to be very clear that everybody has to take these actions now,” Henry said at her March 19 briefing in Vancouver, where 40 more positive tests and B.C.’s eighth death.

RELATED: Don’t try to stockpile drugs, B.C. pharmacists warn

RELATED: B.C. coronavirus cases rise to 271, eight deaths

As young people trade images of spring break parties, it’s proving to be a myth that only old people get seriously sick from COVID-19. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first major study this week, showing one in five Americans hospitalized from Feb. 12 to March 16 is between the ages of 20 and 44. People under 65 are a significant share of those who need an Intensive Care Unit with ventilator.

Health Minister Adrian Dix stresses that B.C. is in a public health “battle” where precautions must be adhered to, or other people will suffer in the weeks and months ahead.

“So right now and in the days and weeks and months ahead we need to do what we’re asked to do,” Dix said. “We need to do it 100 per cent. We need to do it 100 per cent and we need to keep doing it until we’re told we can stop. That’s the fight we’re in.”


@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

Nakusp businesses struggle to stay afloat during COVID-19 crisis

One local business has reported a 90 per cent loss in sales over last month

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Nakusp store launches delivery service by donation for those in need during COVID-19 crisis

Hilltop Convenience Store has been getting up to three calls a day for the service

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read