Daily updates on COVID-19 pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

MARCH 16: Canada shuts down border for non-residents, Surrey shuts down recreational facilities

This story will not longer be updated. Live updates for Tuesday (March 17) can be found here.

The latest from Surrey, White Rock and beyond on the COVID-19 outbreak for Monday, March 16. This will be updated as new information becomes available.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced:

• Order to cancel all gatherings with more than 50 people.

“I would expect that most bars and entertainment places will not meet that criteria,” Henry said.

• There have been three additional deaths in B.C., all in the Lynn Valley Care Centre.

• Officials to cancel all non-urgent surgeries in the province.

• All casinos closed across the province.

• Ask people to step up and communicate with seniors.

• 30 additional cases of COVID-19 in B.C., brings total up to 103. Six people are in hospital.

• At least four cases linked to dental conference held in Vancouver earlier this month. Anybody that was at the dental conference needs to self isolate.

• Province in active discussion on how it will protect students and staff. No announcement on whether or not schools will be closed following spring break.

• Vast majority of cases in B.C. have been imported cases.

“There are no safe places across the world,” Henry said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced:

• Canada has closed borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, except U.S. citizens.

• Airlines will receive formal order to ban all travellers presenting symptoms from getting on an airplane.

• Canadian travellers will receive funding in order to assist with the cost of returning home or temporarily covering their basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada.

• Starting on Wednesday, only four Canadian airports will receive international flights. Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary. Travel restrictions will not impact trade or businesses.

“These measures will help save lives,” Trudeau said in an address to the nation Monday.

Other news:

• Sources Community Resource Centre suspends in-person services effective March 18 for two weeks.

• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation has postponed its annual gala until July 25 at White Rock’s Centennial Arena. It was originally planned for May 2.

• Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is slamming grocery hoarders and profiteers who are re-selling products like toilet paper to make a quick buck at their neighbours’ expense during the pandemic.

• City of White Rock closed some of its civic facilities and cancelled recreational programs due to COVID-19 concern.

• All City of Surrey recreational facilities have been closed to the public. The closure includes recreation centres, ice arenas, culture facilities, pools, libraries, civic threatres, Surrey Art Gallery, and Museum of Surrey.

• Canadian Blood Services urge the public to continue to donate blood in the midst of the pandemic.

RELATED: No travel ban, but all travellers asked to self-isolate as Canada hits 313 COVID-19 cases

• Surrey City Hall, Surrey Operations Centre, Animal Control and Emergency Services will remain open with business as usual, with social distancing risk reduction measures in place.

• Spring break camps and licensed childcare programs will continue to operate in Surrey with “risk reduction measures” in place.

RELATED: COVID-19: Cancelled, postponed Surrey events due to coronavirus

• Events organized by the City of Surrey that host more than 50 people will be cancelled until further notice. A list of cancelled events can be found here.

• City of Surrey says it increased cleaning protocols within its facilities and provided guidance to employees and visitors on best-practices to reduce risk of transmission.

RELATED: Canucks employee tests positive for COVID-19

• Restaurant Brands International Inc. says it is asking Canadian Tim Hortons restaurant owners to provide take-out, drive-thru and delivery only in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: Passenger on Vancouver-Kelowna flight tests positive for COVID-19

• Social media started to buzz after photos were shared of a woman apparently selling toilet paper from the back of her vehicle in the Langley Costco store parking lot on Friday.

• New research says broad swaths of the Canadian workforce won’t have access to paid leave from their employers or existing federal help should they be forced off the job due to COVID-19.

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