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Province declares public health emergency; bars and clubs ordered to close (SPH)

Finance Minster Carole James and Premier John Horgan greet each other with an elbow at news conference at the legislature. March 17, 2020 (Photo credit: Times Colonist)

• Emergency order allows for faster actions
• More cases confirmed as more test results come back
• Reminder that people coming to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days
• Elderly people encouraged to say home, away from others
• Social distancing is key in avoiding infection, along with washing hands, not touching face

B.C.’s provincial health officer declared a public-health emergency Tuesday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the province rose to 186 and the death toll increased to seven. “Tragically, we have three new deaths reported today,” Dr. Bonnie Henry announced at the daily news briefing on the novel coronavirus.

The increase includes a number of people who tested positive at St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital last week, then needed to get a second test from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. In the meantime, these who initially tested positive were notified, as were public health officials, and those people were put in isolation.

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