What happened: More B.C. businesses are being ordered to shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the province
Why it matters: The new order comes just a day after restaurants were ordered closed to table service, leaving many workers jobless
B.C.’s provincial health officer has ordered the closure of all personal services establishments, including salons, spas, massage parlours and tattoo shops, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bonnie Henry announced the new measures Saturday (March 21) at a press conference in which she revealed 74 new cases and one more death related to the coronavirus in the province.
COVID-19 cases now total 424 in B.C., which include 27 hospitalizations and 12 patients in the intensive care unit.
The latest passing — a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre — brings the province’s total number to 10 deaths.
Henry acknowledged many of B.C.’s personal services establishments have already closed voluntarily but she remained concerned others were still operating.
Peace officers could possibly be dispatched to enforce the closures with fines, if necessary, she said.
Henry’s order comes a day after she ordered all B.C. restaurants closed to all but take-out and delivery services.
She continued to urge British Columbians to stay away from large gatherings as the COVID-19 case tally continues to climb.
“It is important for people to get outside but do it with your family, do it with the people you live with,” she said.
When asked by a reporter why some construction sites are still operating in B.C., Henry said some are working on essential projects.
“The expectation is that the industry will take this on,” she said, adding workers can report concerns about unsafe working environments to WorkSafeBC (Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia).
The number of hospitalizations in B.C., 27, is up from 22 a day earlier.
As of March 19 the number of British Columbians hospitalized due to COVID-19 totalled 17, while 13 were in hospital as of March 18 and seven were admitted on March 17.
There were three people in hospital as of March 14.