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

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

Surrey RCMP say a 30-year-old man was arrested and later charged following a traffic stop in Whalley. (Phil McLachlan photo)
Surrey RCMP say man charged after using allegedly stolen ID in traffic stop

Police say they found ‘stolen credit card data, lock picks, demagnetization devices’

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

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

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

Most Read