British Columbia

B.C. dentist died from COVID-19, family confirms

A little more than a week after Dr. Denis Vincent died at his Vancouver home, the B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed his death was the result of his infection with the novel coronavirus, according to his family's lawyer.

Dr. Denis Vincent attended dental conference connected to several novel coronavirus infections

Dr. Denis Vincent died of COVID-19 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver in early March. (Pacific Dental Conference/Twitter)

A little more than a week after Dr. Denis Vincent died at his Vancouver home, the B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed his death was the result of his infection with the novel coronavirus, according to his family's lawyer.

Vincent, a dentist who practised on the North Shore, was diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre in early March. He died two weeks later.

His family's lawyer, Bettyanne Brownlee, confirmed Monday that the coroner's investigation had concluded Vincent's death was the result of COVID-19.

"I can tell you that Dr. Vincent is going to be greatly missed. In addition to being a gifted dentist, he had a great sense of humour and cared deeply about people," Brownlee said in a written statement.

"In his spare time he explored many interests, including two of his great loves, skiing and sailing with friends and family. He was enormously proud of his sons, who will keep their memories close as they come to terms with the absence of their father from their adult lives."

Vincent was in his 60s. According to family friends, he was still seeing patients about a week before he died.

On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said this was B.C.'s first death of a COVID-19 patient at home.

Outbreak linked to dental conference

Vincent's friend, Fardad Moayeri, told CBC last week that Vincent had not gone to hospital because he didn't want to put stress on the health system.

Nearly 15,000 people who attended the same Vancouver dental conference as Vincent were told to self-isolate on March 16, after several cases of COVID-19 were traced to the event.

According to Brownlee, Vincent contacted Vancouver Coastal Health after he became ill and an assessment was completed that suggested little risk of transmission to patients. 

"Dr. Vincent was a dedicated health-care professional who made patient care and safety his top priority for more than 40 years. Throughout his career, he was diligent in adhering to recommended practices for infection control," Brownlee said.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca.  

With files from Yvette Brend and Manjula Dufresne

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