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

The Cariboo Regional District has launched a broadband survey for residents, businesses and organizations. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
CRD launches internet, cellular services survey

Residents, businesses and organizations invited to give input

Actors and directors of The Studio Theatre’s upcoming radio play version of A Christmas Carol rehearse over zoom. (Tara Sprickerhoff photo)
Bexie Blake of Miocene celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday, Nov. 27. (Photo submitted)
Miocene woman celebrates 100th birthday at home within her bubble

Elizabeth ‘Bexie’ Blake said she looks forward the time when she can receive hugs in person

Staff at the Boys and Girls Club of WIlliams Lake and District organize a donation from Lake City Secondary School for the youth food bank. (Photo submitted)
Christmas cheer on the menu at Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District

A number of things are in the works, including a winter wonderland

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read