VANCOUVER -- B.C. officials have renewed the province's record-breaking state of emergency for a 31st time.

British Columbia has now spent 60 weeks under the coronavirus-prompted state of emergency, which grants authorities extra powers during times of crisis but can only be extended for two weeks at a time.

The current state of emergency was first declared in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold. It is unlikely to be called off in the near future, given case numbers are still higher than officials would like, and not everyone has been vaccinated.

In this case, the state of emergency permits authorities to enforce public health orders, imposing fines for social gatherings, intraprovincial travel and other violations of the orders issued by Dr. Bonnie Henry.

States of emergency have also been issued for other reasons in B.C., including a particularly bad wildfire season in 2017.

That state of emergency, which was in place for 10 weeks, was previously the province's longest on record.

The current state of emergency will have been in effect for 62 weeks by the time it's up for renewal again on May 25.

British Columbians should also learn that day whether the current restrictions banning in-restaurant dining and intraprovincial travel will remain in effect, or be called off.