Special weather statement in effect for:
Heavy rain for the Central Interior, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Thompson and Columbia regions though Thursday evening.
Moist easterly flow associated with a deep Alberta low will stream moisture across the Rocky Mountains and into B.C. tonight and Thursday.
Computer guidance continues to suggest that 25 to 40 mm total rainfall will fall through Thursday night. Higher rainfall amounts are expected over the mountains, especially over the Williston, McGregor, and Cariboo regions where storm totals will reach 50 to 70 mm. In addition to the widespread synoptic rain, thunderstorms will have the potential of adding 15-25 mm locally over short periods.
Although the rainfall amounts may not be exceptionally heavy, the significance of this event is due to the potential for rising rivers levels. There is significant concern for high flows in the Quesnel River (Cariboo Mountains), the North Thompson (Blue River/Clearwater region), and South Thompson (Shuswap).
On Thursday the precipitation will become more showery in nature, but thunderstorms will cause significant local contribution to rainfall totals well into Thursday evening.
Rainfall warnings may be issued as the system further develops and confidence in rainfall amounts increases.
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
"Today, we are announcing 12 new cases, for a total of 2,916 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 152 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,590 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 18 individuals are hospitalized, four of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 981 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,538 in the Fraser Health region, 131 in the Island Health region, 201 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.
"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 174 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks, and the outbreak at Valhaven Home in the Fraser Health region has been declared over. In total, four long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute care facility have active outbreaks.
"There have been no new community outbreaks, and the public health teams continue to provide support for the one remaining community location.
The Province is investing in a suite of initiatives to protect long-term care and seniors' assisted-living residents from COVID-19, as facilities begin allowing visitors.
"British Columbians flattened the curve through individual actions and a commitment to look out for each other - our families, friends and neighbours," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "That commitment has come with many sacrifices, especially from our seniors and Elders who have been separated from their loved ones. That's why throughout this pandemic, we are have sought to continually improve our long-term care and seniors' assisted living operations, to make them safer for residents and those who care for them. Each of us must continue to be completely committed to combatting this virus for these historic investments to be effective."
Residents will begin to be able to have a single designated visitor in a specific visiting area. This approach will be monitored through July, with an aim to expand it in August.
"We know how important it is for our family members in long-term care to receive visits from family, friends and supporters. We also know that's a risk when we have COVID-19 in the community," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. "Once long-term care homes have plans in place and they're taking the extra precautions needed, I'm so happy to say that we can safely move towards allowing visitors again."
Updated provincial requirements will ease the current visitor restrictions for long-term care homes and seniors' assisted living residences with clear guidance on required precautions. Each facility must develop written plans outlining how they will meet the requirements.
Visitation requirements for long-term care home and seniors' assisted living facilities include:
* Visitation in individual facilities can resume once they have their required written safety plan in place.
* Once in place, residents will be able to have one designated visitor in appropriate designated spaces.
* Designated spaces will include outdoor or indoor locations; and
* all visitors must bring and appropriately wear masks.
Essential visitor restrictions remain in place for other health-care settings.
In addition, personal service providers, including hairdressers, will be able to come into long-term care and seniors' assisted living facilities if they have completed a WorkSafeBC safety plan.
The Province is providing more than $160 million for facilities to hire up to three full-time equivalent staff in each of B.C.'s 680 long-term care homes and seniors' assisted living residences, including both public and private facilities. This could total as many as 2,040 additional staff dedicated to ensuring infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19 are followed to support safe visitation.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
At the beginning of 2020, Merritt City Council tasked staff with updating and modernizing the City’s zoning bylaw.
After six months of work from the planning department and Manager Don McArthur, the new bylaw is set to be debated this evening by Council.
Overall, the changes to the bylaw are encompassed in over 200 pages of information being presented tonight. (The bylaw can be found here - https://www.merritt.ca/agendas-minutes/)
“The content of this new Bylaw is markedly different than the previous edition, though the general layout has largely been maintained, along with some figures and language. This staff report summarizes the changes made to each Part, which collectively form a modernization of development regulations in Merritt,” wrote McArthur.
If the bylaw receives first and second reading tonight, a public hearing will be scheduled before any changes are adopted at a future meeting.
Tonight’s meeting will be held online at 7 pm.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Yesterday, the Interior Health Authority reached a new COVID-19 milestone by reporting its 200th positive case since the pandemic began.
The Interior is the third health authority in BC to hit 200 cases after the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions hit the total months ago as cases surged in the urban centres.
Of the 200 cases, just two remain active with nobody currently admitted to the hospital. Sadly, two people have passed away from the virus in the Interior.
More men than women have contracted the virus in the region with 107 males, compared to 93 females. The most affected age-range continues to be 30-39 year-olds.
Both of those statistics run counter to provincial averages with more women contracting the virus across BC and the most affected age-range begin 50-59.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt