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VICTORIA, B.C. – The province has extended British Columbia’s state of emergency once again.

The declaration, which was renewed on Tuesday, will take place through January 19th in an ongoing attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

This will mark 42 weeks the province has been under such state.

The state of emergency allows the province to enact additional powers for two weeks at a time under the Emergency Program Act. This is used during natural disasters and pandemics among other reasons. The extension will allow the province to continue public health orders.

Premier John Horgan says there is a glimmer of hope as communities have started to receive vaccine shipments but urges residents to continue following public health orders.

“British Columbians have been working hard to flatten the curve, and to do that, we can’t let up too soon. We need everyone to hang in there and continue to do what they need to do to keep case numbers low.”

The province has been under a state of emergency since March 18, 2020.

Last month, the province announced further measures such as strengthening COVID-19 fines and having police receive support from peace officers to enforce fines.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says although most British Columbians are following public health orders, there are others ignoring the orders.

“We continue to strengthen the tools officials need to keep people safe, and we won’t hesitate to use them.”

A total of 574 violation tickets were issued in relation to people not following health orders between August 31, 2020 and Jan 1, 2021.

 

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