Maxwell Somerville has adorned the garage door of his family’s South Surrey home with a message to thank those who are working on the frontlines, and encourage people to ‘Stay Home, Stay Connected.’ (Contributed photo)

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 16: White Rock studying new provincial tax-relief measures for those hard-hit by COVID-19

Daily update for Thursday, April 16 on the COVID-19 pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond. It will be updated as information becomes available:

• City of White Rock staff are studying new provincial tax relief measures to assess how they will affect the picture for both businesses and residents hard hit by economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

• During this pandemic, Black Press Media delivery protocols have changed, so please be patient and understanding with newspaper carriers, many who are children.

• ICBC has announced it will be waiving its $30 cancellation fee and $18 re-plating fee for people who choose to cancel their insurance temporarily.

• B.C. premier John Horgan says preliminary discussions are underway to discuss how officials would “potentially” reopen schools, but that decision depends on how the number of COVID-19 cases change in coming weeks.

• The province has announced free counselling services to all students currently registered in studies at B.C. post-secondary schools, as worries remain high due to the ongoing pandemic.

• B.C.’s regional health authorities have begun collecting online questions for a series of regional online COVID-19 town halls to be hosted weekday evenings from April 17 to April 23.

• An inmate from Mission Institution has died at Abbotsford Regional Hospital as an apparent result of complications related to COVID-19.

• Groups working with vulnerable populations are being asked to offer feedback on how federal benefit programs to counter impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are actually working.

• Health care workers say there is growing concern at a group of medical clinics in Surrey that fear of COVID-19 – or the misconception that clinics have closed because of it – is keeping people from seeing a doctor.

• When the province declared a state of emergency to support the COVID-19 response in mid-March, BC Liquor Stores (BCLS) saw an ‘uncharacteristic’ increase in customer volume.

• An Aldergrove grandpa found just about the only way he could see his grandson on his birthday during a pandemic – in a full hazmat suit.

• Vancouver-based shoe designer John Fluevog announced that he’s designed a shoe in honour of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

• An additional cut to commercial property tax for schools will produce an average 25 per cent reduction in 2020 property taxes to cope with COVID-19, B.C. Finance Minister Carole James says.

• U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that travel restrictions with Canada could soon be eased, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that won’t likely happen for a “significant” amount of time.

• The federal government says it will be expanding the emergency loan program to allow for more businesses to be eligible, while also rolling out a new program to assist with rent and lease costs.

• A free livestream concert featuring four B.C. musicians, including one from White Rock, gets underway at 4 p.m. today.

• The continuation of an Environmental Appeal Board hearing contesting an air-quality permit issued to a South Surrey galvanizing plant has been pushed back two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• A group of more than 30 Vancouver Island leaders are asking the province to restrict long weekend ferry travel to essential traffic only during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• According to the World Health Organization, there’s nothing to fear when it comes to mosquitoes spreading the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

For more on COVID-19, visit peacearchnews.com/tag/coronavirus



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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