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

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

The public exposure alert comes following the March 21 WestJet flight from Calgary to Kamloops

Some big city shoppers heading to small towns to stock up

With the cupboard bare in many large centres, shoppers are flocking to places like Ashcroft

Bail granted to man charged in killing at Cache Creek home

Corey Harkness, 32, is charged with one count of second-degree murder

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read