VANCOUVER -- The province says daycares will remain open for now as classes for public school students in B.C. are suspended over concerns about COVID-19.

Premier John Horgan said the government was taking direction from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and that at this point, childcare would remain available. Horgan said this is something parents should be able to “take comfort” in, but he noted that the situation could change quickly.

“(Dr. Henry’s) made it clear to us that healthcare providers and other essential personnel within the economy, within the infrastructure, that we need to have in place to provide services to people, need access to childcare,” he said. “But it is an evolving situation, and should the public health officials give us different direction, we’ll be taking different actions.”

Horgan said families should be ready to plan for changes “immediately” if the province gets new information. Premier John Horgan announced at a news conference on Tuesday that schools across the province will be closed because of the pandemic and was not able to say when they would reopen.

“It’s a fluid situation. It’s one where we’re updating the public daily, taking new steps,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “I expect you’ll hear from the provincial health officer in concert with daycare providers in different settings around the province shortly.”