"The action we take today matters", said Dix.
Henry said that the province's testing facilities, led by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, had cleared the backlog of previous tests.
While both expressed hope that B.C. will be able to avoid the worst-case scenario, preparations are still being made.
"This is an awesome thing", said Teresa Douglas, who was facing a a $50-a-month increase May 1 in the rent for the two-bedroom townhouse she and her husband rent through student housing at the University of British Columbia.
"We're helping renters pay rent and giving them the peace of mind that they have a stable home in these unprecedented times, and ensuring that landlords can count on some rental income right now to keep them afloat too".
The $500 is created to be used atop the financial aid from federal and provincial aid packages announced in recent days. "That will depend on the depth of the pandemic, and the time it will take for us to recover and come out the other side".
The additional rental assistance program will be delivered through BC Housing.
There are eight long-term care homes that have reported positive COVID-19 cases: Lynn Valley Care Centre (42 residents and 21 staff), Haro Park Centre (15 residents and 25 staff), Hollyburn House (one resident and one staff member), Dufferin Care Centre (one case), Delta View Care Centre (one case) and the and German-Canadian Care Home (one staff member), plus one new staff member case at Little Mountain Place Residential Care in Vancouver and one new resident case at Evergreen Heights in White Rock.
Any money provided to these renters through the supplement will be paid directly to landlords on the renters' behalf.
Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
"The fewer people who access the program, the more opportunity we have to expand it going forward", said Horgan, noting there are about 500,000 renters in B.C.
"The stress is off the charts right now".
"We must make the efforts now".
The announcement comes a week before April 1 rental payments are due.
The measures are part of the province's $5 billion COVID-19 response plan - which was announced on Monday - and follow tax and payment deferral options from governments, Crown corporations and banks meant to ease the financial burdens Canadians' may be facing.