COVID-19 Daily Provincial Update & Federal Updates – March 18, 2020


Daily Provincial Health Update

Earlier today, the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency to support the province-wide response to COVID-19.  The state emergency is initially in effect for 14 days, and allows critical federal, provincial and local resources to be delivered in a coordinated effort.

Yesterday, the Provincial Health Officer announced requirements for social distancing in public establishments – minimum of one to two metres between workers and customers – which required the immediate closure of bars, pubs and night clubs. Restaurants and cafes that can accommodate the minimum social distancing standards may stay open, otherwise they must close or shift to take-out or delivery models.

The Provincial Health Officer continues to reiterate federal recommendations to avoid all non-essential international travel and self-isolate for 14 days following return from international travel (exemptions are in place for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people).

March 18 Joint Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health statement:


For parents and guardians, a new government website has been launched with up-to-date non-clinical information on COVID-19.  British Columbians can also use the new provincial phone service by calling 1-888-COVID19, available seven days a week from 7:30AM to 8PM, with information in over 110 languages.   Specific public health questions re COVID-19 should be directed to your local health authority for response.


Federal Updates

The Prime Minister of Canada has announced $82 billion in funding to help Canadians and businesses as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The funding includes $27 billion in direct supports to impacted workers, homeowners, low-income families, post-secondary students, Canadians experiencing homelessness, and Indigenous communities, and $55 billion to support businesses through tax deferrals.

In addition, restrictions have been established on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. Travelers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism.


Useful Links:

For more information on the updated testing strategy and self-isolation, visit:

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit:

For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit:

For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit its website:

To make an appointment to donate, download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2-DONATE (1 888 236-6283) or book online: