It looks like the end is not in sight for British Columbia just yet. On Tuesday, March 31, B.C. Premier John Horgan addressed the public to announce that he was extending the province's state of emergency. As of now, the premier has extended the state of emergency by two weeks. 

The province's state of emergency in relation to the pandemic was first announced on March 17 and was originally intended to end two weeks after. 

Horgan mentioned in his public address that the next stretch is critically important in the province's fight against COVID-19. "There are more challenges ahead," he warned. 

"Today, we’re asking all British Columbians to re-commit to doing their part. There are early signs that our actions are making a difference, and we can’t stop now," said Horgan. 

He reminded the public that it's been nine weeks since B.C. identified its first individual who had contracted COVID-19. 

The number stands at 1,013 cases as of now, although 507 of those individuals have already recovered, as of March 31, 2020. 

"What we do today will affect what our doctors, nurses, and first responders face in the days and weeks ahead," he said. 

Horgan also offered a glimmer of hope, stating that there are early signs that our social distancing measures are starting to make a difference

He reiterated that we should stay at home as much as possible, and if we must go outside, we should maintain a physical distance of at least two meters. 

"This is not going to be easy but it's not forever," he assured the public about the extended period of emergency.  

In his address, Horgan expressed his gratitude to the heroes that have been keeping the province running smoothly, including transit and ferry workers, long-haul truckers, delivery drivers, dock workers, and everyone working in the grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations, to name a few. 

Horgan delivered an extensive shout-out to the health care workers who are "moving heaven and earth" to protect the community. 

"You have our deepest gratitude," he said. 

He also assured the frontline health care workers that the province is leaving "no stone unturned" to assemble personal protective equipment for the workers. 

But because every other country in the world is seeking the same PPE gear, the search has been hard.

The state of emergency allows the B.C. government to take extra measures to fight the pandemic, like acquiring or using any land as necessary or prohibiting travel for residents if needed. 

The province is also able to fix prices or ration food, clothing, equipment, and supplies as part of the state of emergency. 

As of now, B.C. remains under a state of emergency and we will await the end of the two week period to see if it is extended once more. 

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