B.C. isn't messing around when it comes to the Canada-U.S. border. On Monday, June 8, B.C. Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, said that the U.S. states where B.C. residents frequent the most are experiencing a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases. Therefore, he wants the province to be more vigilant at the border. 

In a public address about the province's COVID-19 response, the minister talked about the situation south of the border. 

Dix told the public that states such as Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada are all facing significant upticks in COVID-19 cases for the month of June.

He mentioned that British Columbians are known to frequently visit those places and have a "strong connection" to them. 

According to the Government of Washington, B.C. southern neighbours have a total count of 24,041 COVID-19 cases as of June 8. 

Whereas the California Department of Public Health reports a total of 131,319 cases in their state as of June 7. 

"In Arizona, the case rates have spiked dramatically such that there are almost three times as much this week under the five-day rolling average as there was last week," shared Dix. 

"In terms of reopening of the borders to visitors anytime soon, I don't see that as practical," said the Minister. 

Dix said that he doesn't think it's a good idea for Canadians to visit the U.S. and come back. He doesn't think it's smart to have U.S. visitors coming to Canada, either. 

"This is why we continue to have to be vigilant, particularly at the border, in ensuring we keep transmission low," he said. 

He said that the province is going to work together with the federal government to do that, even as the country begins to allow certain family reunifications across the border. 

"Unfortunately, and this is not something we're anything but sad about, the significant increases we've seen in states like Arizona are profound for those communities," said Dix. 

He said that people struggling in those states are "our friends, our neighbours, people we've very close to."

Dix took the time to express his appreciation for the people in B.C. for all they're doing to stop the spread of COVID-19

"This pandemic has forced us to change our practices, our routines, our way of thinking about how we interact with each other," he said. 

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