CTV News Vancouverture
VANCOUVER -- It is time for the City of Vancouver to declare a state of emergency, Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced Wednesday.
Speaking to media at a news conference Wednesday, he told the media, "I am concerned. That's why I recommend we declare a state of emergency here."
The mayor said he will take his suggestion to council the following day for a vote. He expects the state of emergency will be approved on Thursday.
Among the reasons, he said he received word from police that several restaurants remained open Tuesday despite a public health emergency issued by the province that afternoon.
"This can't go on," he said.
Implementing a state of emergency would give the city more authority in certain situations, including to force restaurants defying the advice of public officials to close.
He said the city may also be able to address the issue of panic buying if the declaration goes forward.
All residents are asked to immediately limit the time they spend in public places.
Restaurants have been told to close down, unless they're able to offer takeout and delivery services.
Addressing concerns voiced by advocates of the city's homeless population, Stewart said more hand-washing stations have been added in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The city is looking into housing options for anyone who needs to self-isolate but doesn't have the space to do so.
This is a developing news story and will be updated. Original article follows.
The City of Vancouver is expected to address concerns regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 on Wednesday.
In an advisory, the city said it would be updating the public on what its organizations are doing to minimize the impact on residents.
During the afternoon news conference, the city will also discuss its operations.