B.C. offers $500 monthly rental rebate, moratorium on evictions, rent freeze

FILE- Dr. Henry said Tuesday the recorded number of coronavirus cases in B.C. is now 617

FILE- Dr. Henry said Tuesday the recorded number of coronavirus cases in B.C. is now 617

As of Wednesday, there were 659 cases of coronavirus in B.C., including 42 new cases.

The province's death toll stands at 14, while a total of 186 people have fully recovered from the virus, according to Henry.

64 people are now hospitalized and 43 people have recovered from the virus.

Horgan also said several details, such as whether the $500 will be per rental unit or per person living there, allowing roommates to pool their rebates to cover rent, are still to be finalized.

"We are still in the waiting and watching phase", Henry said.

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"Our government is taking steps to help take some of the pressure off renters and landlords and protect people's health", said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, Henry said she has ordered that staff can only work in one long-term care facility.

"Many students are ineligible for EI, finding it hard to get summer jobs + full-time jobs for new grads during COVID ... we need to make sure students, both domestic and worldwide, are able to access the financial support", the AMS wrote.

Along with the outbreaks and deaths associated with the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, Little Mountain in the VCH region and Evergreen Heights in the Fraser Health region are also reporting outbreaks. Everyone who died was older than 70.

Overall the province says it has done close to 30,000 tests.

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"Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases, 64 individuals are now hospitalized, 26 of those in hospital are in intensive care and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation".

Lynn Valley was the first of now nine care homes where the virus has been identified in B.C. On Wednesday, Henry announced the ninth outbreak: A case discovered in a health-care worker at Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in Vancouver.

"It does draw attention, again, to the fragility of our long-term care facilities and the risk that we put the residents of long-term care (in)", Henry said.

Henry said she is also concerned by the dramatic increase in the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves in hospitals over the past week due to the rise in hospitalizations. "This happened quite quickly. Some have arrived, thankfully, and we are actively looking at how we can get as much as we can in the short term".

The province's health officer has issued three orders in the month of March: a ban on mass gatherings, an order for travellers entering the province to self-isolate, and a ban on bars and nightclubs operating. Celebrations and ceremonies need to be postponed.

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