COVID-19: A timeline of the pandemic and how it changed our lives | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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COVID-19: A timeline of the pandemic and how it changed our lives

Image Credit: Brie Welton
April 17, 2020 - 3:30 PM

It's been one month since provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency and the world around us changed dramatically. 

So many things once taken for granted disappeared and new normals emerged.

We take a look back at how COVID-19 unfolded.

Image Credit: Brie Welton
Image Credit: Brie Welton
Image Credit: Brie Welton
Image Credit: Brie Welton
Image Credit: Brie Welton
Image Credit: Brie Welton

As of this morning,  April 17, 10 a.m. there have been 77 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C., 1,575 positive cases and 983 people have recovered.

Canadawide, there are 30,659 cases in Canada and 1,250 deaths. 

Sources for all case data from the BCCDC and Government of Canada.

— Graphics by Brie Welton


COVID-19 Timeline (text with links):

December 31, 2019: Officials in Wuhan, China report a "pneumonia of unknown cause" to the World Health Organization.

January 15: First reported case of COVID-19 in Canada. There are 43 confirmed cases worldwide.

January 30: The World Health Organization declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. There are 7,836 cases worldwide.

January 27: First case of COVID-19 in B.C.

February 3: Second case of COVID-19 in B.C.

February 11: The World Health Organization announces COVID-19 as the new name for the novel coronavirus disease.

February 19: B.C. government announces the person with the first case of COVID-19 in the province has fully recovered.

February 26: Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu encourages Canadians to stockpile food and medication in case they or a loved one falls ill with the novel coronavirus. There are 81,317 cases worldwide.

March 2: Reports of shoppers loading up with toilet paper.

March 3: Ninth case of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

March 6: Stores across the Interior run out of toilet paper. Walmarts in Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops are completely sold out of face masks and hand sanitizer.

March 7: B.C. Government confirms COVID-19 cases at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

March 9: First COVID-19 death in B.C.

March 11: The World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. There are 46 cases in B.C.

March 12: B.C. government says all gatherings over 250 people must to cancelled. Anyone returning to Canada must stay away from work or school for 14 days and Canadian government recommends against all non-essential travel outside of Canada. The NHL and the BCHL suspend their 2019-2020 hockey seasons.

March 14: More reports come in of supermarket shelves stripped bear of basic foods.

March 15: SilverStar Mountain Resort closes. Other resorts in the region follow suit over the following days.

March 16: Spring Break starts. The Government of Canada announced it was barring foreign nationals from all countries except the U.S. from entering Canada. B.C. dentists halt practicing. 

March 17: B.C. declares a public health emergency. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry uses the new powers and orders all bars and nightclubs closed. Social distancing becomes a thing as Henry announces people need to stay six feet apart. A cap on gatherings is lowered to 50 people. Province announces schools won't reopen after spring break. There are 183 COVID-19 cases in the province and 191,473 worldwide.

March 18: B.C. declares a state of emergency. It is initially in effect for 14 days. Costco implements buying limits and social distancing rules.

March 19: The new normal starts to be seen as Kelowna's Orchard Park Mall is eerily quiet. There are 12 COVID-19 cases within Interior Health's region

March 20: The City of Kamloops declares a local state of emergency. Dr. Bonnie Henry orders the closure of all restaurants in the province. The Regional District of Central Okanagan shuts down playgrounds.

March 21: Dr. Bonnie Henry orders all spas, salons and tattoo shops to close. Air Canada suspends flights which service the Kelowna and Kamloops Airports.

March 22: Some Interior supermarkets announce a $2 an hour pay increase for store employees.

March 23: B.C. Premier John Horgan announces one-off $1,000 payment for anybody unable to work due to COVID-19. The premier freezes B.C. students loan repayments until September and initiates deferrals for hydro and ICBC payments. Videos emerge of Vancouver residents on their balconies applauding hospital workers.


March 25: Federal Government announces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19. A repayment freeze on Canada Student Loans is put in place. A $500 rent subsidy is announced in B.C. There are 88 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. The highest number reported so far. 

March 27: Federal Government announces a 75 per cent wage subsidy to support small businesses. Food delivery services report massive up-tick in business.

March 28: Provinces compile lists of essential services. Liquor and Cannabis stores, along with dry cleaners, make the B.C. list.

March 29: Kelowna doctor reports 'critical shortage' of masks and PPE for healthcare workers.

March 31: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business report 32 per cent of small businesses across the country have closed. B.C. health care facilities collect and sterilize disposable masks in an attempt to have an emergency supply if needed. The number of COVID-19 cases in B.C. tops 1,000.

April 1: B.C. visits to emergency rooms down 50 per cent. 

April 4: Dr Bonnie Henry says B.C. “seeming to flatten our curve." There are 1,203 cases recorded in the province. The number of cases worldwide surpasses one million with over 57,000 deaths.

April 7: No new COVID-19 cases reported in the province in 72 hours.

April 12: B.C. reports hunting licence sales have nearly doubled.

April 15: B.C. extends state of emergency for another two weeks. There has been 75 COVID-19 related deaths and 1,561 positive cases in B.C. 955 people have recovered. There are 28,899 cases in Canada and 1,048 deaths. Worldwide there are 1,918,137 cases and over 120,000 deaths. 

— This story was updated April 20 to include text and links

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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