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COVID-19 milestones in B.C.

Looking back at major events in the pandemic, two years after authorities identified the province’s first case of coronavirus
B.C. vaccination clinics have been busy since COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in 2021 | Chung Chow/BIV files

• January 28, 2020 - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announces B.C.'s first COVID-19 infection – a man in his 40s who recently returned from Wuhan, China.

• March 4, 2020 - Henry announces B.C.'s first serious hospitalization – a woman in her 80s at Vancouver General Hospital.

• March 9, 2020 - Henry announces B.C., and Canada's first COVID-19 death – a man in his 80s at North Vancouver's Lynn Valley Care Centre.

• March 12, 2020 - Canada puts in place an advisory against non-essential international travel; requires international visitors to quarantine for two weeks.

• March 15, 2020 - B.C. postpones non-urgent surgeries.

• March 17, 2020 - Henry orders businesses with liquor primary licenses, such as bars, pubs and nightclubs, to close immediately. Other businesses that are not able to meet the province's test for social distancing must close. Schools to remain closed after spring break.

• March 18, 2020 - B.C. declares a state of emergency.

• March 23, 2020 - Canada and U.S. agree to close the two countries' land border.

• March 25, 2020 - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which provides $2,000 per month for up to four months, for workers who lost their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• March 30, 2020- Trudeau announces the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which helps employers pay up to 75% of employees’ wages, if the business meets conditions, such as having revenue fall 30%, compared with the previous year.

• April 16, 2020 – Trudeau announces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, which allows commercial property owners to apply for a forgivable loan to cover 50% of small business tenants' rent payments in April, May and June, provided owners reduced rent owed by tenants by at least 75%. Tenants would then pay up to 25% of their regular rent, and landlords would forgive at least 25% of what was owed.

• May 15, 2020 - B.C. hospitals resume non-urgent surgeries.

• November 7, 2020 – B.C. bans social gatherings with anyone except for members of a person's immediate household, or "one or two people" for those who live alone. Travel outside the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions is limited to essential trips.

• November 19, 2020 - B.C. requires people wear masks in indoor public spaces.

• December 15, 2020 – B.C. provides first vaccine doses.

• February 16, 2021 – B.C. first starts reporting data for variants of concern, such as the B.1.1.7 (later named Alpha), and B.1.351 (later named Beta).

• March 11, 2021 - B.C. allows small outdoor gatherings.

• March 29, 2021 - B.C. introduces so-called "circuit-breaker" restrictions that put limits on indoor dining, group fitness activities and faith services.

• May 25, 2021 - B.C. ends its "circuit-breaker" restrictions on indoor dining and other activities.

• July 1, 2021 - Restrictions on indoor and outdoor personal gatherings are lifted.

• July 19, 2021 - B.C. lifts limits on long-term care visitors.

• August 9, 2021 – Canada reopens border to vaccinated Americans.

• August 23, 2021 – B.C. Premier John Horgan announces that the province will launch vaccine cards that will be necessary to show in order to enter restaurants, sporting events and other venues.

• September 7, 2021 – Canada reopens border to visitors from countries other than the U.S.

• September 7, 2021 – B.C.'s vaccine card system takes effect, and limits entry to some public spaces to those who have had at least one dose of vaccine.

• October 24, 2021 – B.C.'s vaccine card system starts to restrict entry to a range of public spaces, allowing only those with two doses of vaccine.

• October 26, 2021 – B.C. announces plan to provide third, or booster doses, to everyone, starting with vulnerable people, and slowly expanding to include more groups.

• November 8, 2021 – U.S. reopens its land border to Canadians.

• November 16, 2021 – B.C. health officials find first case of the Delta variant.

• November 30, 2021 - B.C. health officials find first case of the Omicron variant.

• December 21, 2021 - B.C. bans indoor events, and orders gyms, bars and nightclubs to close.

• January 7, 2022 – B.C. requires businesses to bring back COVID-19 safety plans.

• January 25, 2022 – B.C. extends its vaccine card program until June 30.