B.C. extends record-breaking state of emergency amid 3rd wave of pandemic

B.C. has extended its COVID-19 state of emergency for the 29th time.

On Tuesday, the province announced that emergency measures would be renewed for another two weeks, allowing officials to use powers under the Emergency Protection Act to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

“The Province continues, with the support of police and other enforcement officials, to use measures under the EPA to limit the spread of COVID-19, including issuing tickets for owners, operators and event organizers who host an event or gathering contravening the PHO's orders,” reads an April 13 statement from the province.

The latest emergency extension comes as the province enters a brutal third wave of COVID-19, with the daily average of new infections close to the highest it has ever been.

"This is a difficult time for everyone," said Premier John Horgan in a statement.

"With the vaccine program well underway we can see hope on the horizon, but higher case numbers and variants mean that we need to draw back in some places instead of opening up,” he said.

A “circuit breaker” order, prohibiting restaurants from serving customers indoors, is currently in place. In instances of non-compliance, public health officers have issued closure orders to restaurants.

The decision to extend the state of emergency was made based on recommendations from B.C.'s health and emergency management officials.

"Public health orders are in place to keep us safe so we can eventually loosen restrictions and return to a more normal life," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General in a statement.

The declaration was first made in mid-March 2020, and since then it has been extended every two weeks.