Health Minister Adrian Dix says the B.C. government will announce stricter penalties this week for those who flout public health rules as COVID-19 cases climb in the province. Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the B.C. government will announce stricter penalties this week for those who flout public health rules as COVID-19 cases climb in the province. Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VIDEO: B.C. set to unveil new measures to enforce COVID-19 rules, Dix says

Dix said ministries are meeting to map out a more ‘comprehensive approach to increase enforcement’

The province’s health minister said British Columbians can expect to see new penalties for behaviour that could lead to the transmission of COVID-19.

At a press conference Monday (Aug. 17), Health Minister Adrian Dix said the government was discussing new enforcement measures he said would come into effect later this week. The announcement is expected to be made by Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“We are continuing to see what can be done about those [private parties],” he said.

“We cannot let a few wreck it for everybody else and that is the reason action is being taken.”

Dix said ministries are meeting to map out a more “comprehensive approach to increase enforcement,” which could involve police officers, bylaw officers, health authorities and WorkSafeBC. He said that this past weekend, Lower Mainland health authorities visited 128 banquet halls over concerns of too many people present, with six raising red flags.

The health minister’s words came as B.C. recorded a near record-high number of cases the first day of the weekend, with 100 new cases Friday to Saturday, another 88 Saturday to Sunday and 48 more as of Monday. The province has 743 active cases, with four in hospital, three of whom are in ICU.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson urged British Columbians to continue to be careful, despite low hospitalization numbers.

“You may feel that things are looking good… but it is also important to remember that there are hundreds of people with COVID-19 and hundreds more are self-isolation,” Gustafson. “For our elders and those with underlying health conditions the potential for severe disease remains.”

READ MORE: B.C. records 236 new COVID-19 cases over weekend

READ MORE: B.C. school staff, older students required to wear masks in ‘high traffic areas’


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A performance by Alex Cuba will be streaming live on Arts Revelstoke platforms on Feb. 12, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Fasano, submitted by Arts Revelstoke)
Arts Revelstoke hosting virtual performances and movies this season

REVY. Live and Movies in the Mountains is returning

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Four friends were heading to their home on Highway 6 just south of Silverton on the evening of Dec. 25, 2020, when the people in the front of the vehicle saw what looked like a “huge, man-like figure” on the side of the road. (Pixabay.com)
Possible Bigfoot sighting shocks, excites Silverton residents

‘I didn’t see the creature myself, I saw the prints’

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Most Read