British Columbia announced 45 new novel coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 231.
One of the cases is the resident of the Haro Centre, a long-term care facility in Vancouver’s West End.
Thirteen people are now in hospital with COVID-19, up from seven on Tuesday, said Health Minister Adrian DIx.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the next seven to 10 days is a critical time to “slow the curve” of virus transmission.
Bars and nightclubs have been closed by provincial health order in B.C., and gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned.
Restaurants, cafes and other businesses are permitted to remain open so long as customers and staff are able to maintain one to two metres of physical distance, said Henry.
“If you’re a grocery store that’s a very large one, it may mean you can accomodate several hundred people without having them come in close contact with one another,” said Henry.
“If it’s a very small business, it may have to be one at at time.”
She said most industrial sites should not have trouble making accommodations for social distancing.
Seven people have died of the virus in B.C.
On Wednesday, the federal government announced a massive $82-billion economic aid package, including an extension of employment insurance benefits.
The federal government is also temporarily closing the U.S. border to all but essential traffic.
On Tuesday, B.C. drastically stepped up its measures to address the crisis.
The province declared a public health emergency and ordered all bars and nightclubs to close.
In-person instruction was also suspended for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Tuesday also saw the number of COVID-19 cases in B.C. top 100 for the first time and saw the death toll climb to seven.
The province’s worst outbreak of the virus is connected with the Lynn Valley Care Centre, a long-term care facility in North Vancouver.
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