VANCOUVER -- A state of emergency first issued back in March was extended again by B.C.'s premier on Wednesday.

John Horgan announced another two-week extension during a joint news conference with the province's energy minister.

Cabinet approved the extension at a meeting earlier in the day. Horgan described it as a move meant to keep people healthy and safe, and said the state of emergency will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Such states can only be issued for two weeks at a time, and possible future renewals will depend on what the latest provincial data shows.

He praised the efforts of most residents in the province to follow public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

But he warned that there's still more work to be done, and asked British Columbians not to forget those guidelines during the May long weekend.

Some attractions, including provincial parks, are reopening as early as Thursday, but Phase 2 of the province's response doesn't officially start until Tuesday, he said.

"Before we get there, I want to remind everyone of Dr. Henry's appeal and reminder that we are far from out of the woods," he said.

"COVID-19 is still here. Although we have flattened the curve, although we have seen very encouraging numbers day by day in terms of new cases … we need to be mindful that it was the efforts of all British Columbians that got us into this position that we can slowly and steadily reopen our economy so that all of us can enjoy the benefits and wonders of British Columbia," he said.

He said nearly 78 per cent of people who tested positive for the virus are now considered recovered, but 131 have lost their lives in B.C.

"So over this long weekend we need to hold the line. We need to remember that we need to avoid all non-essential travel, and of course, the golden rules of washing our hands, staying a good physical distance from people, and, of course, stay home if you're sick," he said.

"We have been fighting the virus, we should not be fighting ourselves."

Horgan said the public should look ahead, working together to further the progress seen in the last two months.

"We need to support people, we need to support businesses, and we need to plan carefully for the restart," he said.

Horgan spoke at a joint news conference with B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston, who announced an orphaned wells project would bring 1,200 to the province's north.

Read more on that here.

The premier was asked, following the announcement, about a variety of topics including future phases of the province's plan that would allow for a reboot of the tourism industry.

"It's really difficult to talk about how we're going to deal with July and August and September when we're right in the heart of May, and we're trying to get the message to British Columbians that we're not there yet. Our restart plan going into Phase 2 does not begin until next week," he said.

He said he's reluctant to look that far ahead during news conferences, because the message he's trying to convey is to avoid travelling for now.

"Stay home as best you can for the foreseeable future, and as the summer unfolds, and the evidence predicts that we can do more, we will do more."

The premier was also asked about a call he'd had with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about the possibility of professional hockey returning to Vancouver.

He said the province's progress in flattening its coronavirus curve could set it apart from other possible hosts, and that the idea had been floated that the NHL could use its Western Hockey League rinks in locations including Victoria and Kelowna.

And Horgan was questioned about workers in B.C. that don't have protections including paid sick days, in light of outbreaks at multiple meat processing plants.

He said he thinks the responsibility should be shared my multiple levels of government, but that something needs to change across Canada.

Watch his response

He spoke about teachers, education and travel as well during the question-and-answer portion of the news conference. 

Horgan was asked about layoffs due to a sudden decrease in international students, and whether relief was possible. He said the education minister will have an update Friday on the end of this school year and the start of next.

He said a "trial run" was likely in the weeks ahead at some schools, and that the province doesn't expect there to be any job loss. In fact, he said, there may be an increase in teaching jobs. And he said he thought it was premature to talk about international students, though he called the concerns "very real."

Regarding travel, he said he's been firm in enforcing a ban on non-essential visits, a position he says many other premiers are backing.

He said Canada-wide, he'd leave the decisions to the prime minister, but that Justin Trudeau knows where Horgan stands.

And when it comes to tourism, Horgan said he was aware of the impact the industry is facing. He said there are plans developing, including campaigns promoting B.C. across Canada, but that the focus right now should be that everyone should stay home for the foreseeable future.

And he was asked by CTV News what guidelines are in place for dentists, physiotherapists and others, given that those groups are part of Phase 2.

He said he didn't think the public should assume that everything will be up and running immediately on Tuesday, and any hold-ups will be that the province is trying to "get it right."

He said WorkSafeBC and public health officials are finalizing the guidelines, but that those waiting on the guidelines can likely guess as to what they'll entail in terms of patient protections.