A sign in an elevator advises visitors to a South Surrey business against entering if they have symptoms of COVID-19. (File photo)

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

MARCH 25: 55 B.C. health-care workers have tested positive, help for renters announced

Here’s the latest news for Surrey, White Rock and beyond for Wednesday, March 25. This will be updated as information becomes available:

Weddings, funerals and other “celebrations and ceremonies” need to be held without physical gathering as B.C. braces for what might be the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

As the number of British Columbians who have tested positive for COVID-19 continues to rise, so has the number of healthcare workers on the front lines impacted by the novel coronavirus.

• As health officials push for more social distancing and self-isolation, a Surrey temple is creating a special service for those who can’t go out.

• Provincial Labour Minister Harry Bains is working from home, self-isolating after returning to Surrey from a trip to India.

• Surrey Fire Fighters Association is “sounding the alarm” about having trucks out of service in North Surrey.

• The owners of a South Surrey coffee shop are doing what they can to show appreciation for Semiahmoo Peninsula heath-care workers.

• Who’s keeping you company while you work from home, and what signs have you seen around the Semiahmoo Peninsula that have brought a smile to your face?

• The B.C. government is offering up to $500 in rent supplement payments for each of the next four months to help people stay in their homes as their income is affected by COVID-19.

• Despite being one of the most challenging times in its history, donors and volunteers are triumphantly rising to the occasion at the Surrey Food Bank.

• Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney has put out a message to Grade 12 students as the district, and province, deals with transitioning to an adapted form of learning to follow the social-distancing and self-isolating rules.

• The City of Surrey announced a 90-day extension for its annual flat water and sewer payment.

• It’s believed thousands of Surrey residents are stranded in India, caught up in the subcontinent’s 21-day lockdown because of the COVID-19 virus.

• The federal government is planning to provide financial support to media organizations to keep journalists working and reporting on the COVID-19 crisis.

• London Drugs stores across B.C. will now host exclusive shopping hours for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association is partnering with the Surrey Hospital Foundation and restaurants in the area for a meal program.

• Local government officials are reminding the public that paper towels, disinfectant wipes (even the ‘flushable’ kind) and latex gloves pose a significant risk to B.C.’s sanitary collection systems.

• Staff at at least one waterfront business are predicting dire effects along White Rock’s Marine Drive strip should the COVID-19 pandemic not be reined in within the coming weeks.

• The Canadian Blood Services clinic in Surrey remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some changes to the way blood donations are accepted.

• The Maple Ridge 2020 B.C. Summer Games – scheduled for July 23 to 26 – have been cancelled.

• The B.C. government has effectively scrapped its 2020 budget and plunged into multi-billion-dollar deficits to deal with ramped-up health care and other spending from the COVID-19 pandemic

• The federal government is to start enforcing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers at midnight.

• The prime minister unveiled a new benefit to streamline aid for Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

• You can always count on Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen to lighten up a situation.

• White Rock’s mayor says the COVID-19 case at Evergreen Heights is a reminder for everyone to take their role in “flattening the curve” seriously.

• BC Ferries is advising the public to avoid non-essential travel due to growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make ends meet anxiously awaited promised federal help.

• For Canadians awaiting life-changing operations, the novel coronavirus is creating deepening distress as cancellations and delays roll through the public health system.

• As COVID-19 spreads, health officials recommend residents take a number of precautions to protect themselves including practicing social distancing, proper handwashing and regular disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.

• Extra precautions are being taken by overdose prevention and supervised consumption service providers in B.C., as required by the provincial health officer, to ensure the impacts of COVID-19 are mitigated.

• The stars haven’t aligned for astrologers in the age of COVID-19.

For the latest coronavirus and COVID-19 news, visit peacearchnews.com/tag/coronavirus

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