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

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal inaugural team awards

Duvivier named most valuable player and defensive player, Manigat earns top offensive player

Expanded COVID-19 testing and collection centre opening at UFV

New Abbotsford service location will now conduct as many as 500 tests daily

Abbotsford Police chief’s breakfast event goes virtual for 2020

Mike Serr addresses residents during online event on Oct. 21

Abbotsford school trustee running for NDP

Preet Rai acclaimed as candidate for Abbotsford West riding

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

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

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Most Read