VANCOUVER -- The B.C. government has renewed its record-breaking state of emergency once again, extending officials' extraordinary powers for another two weeks.

The province has now issued and reissued its state of emergency nine times since the start of the pandemic, beginning on March 18, the day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry first declared a public health emergency.

Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said even though B.C. is gradually easing its COVID-19 restrictions, some measures must remain in place to help combat the spread of the virus.

"We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine," Farnworth said in a news release.

States of emergency can only be issued or extended for two weeks at a time, so the latest will only remain in effect through July 21 at the latest.