B.C. announces 6 more deaths from COVID-19
All of the newly recorded deaths were in long-term care, including 1 that happened in early June
Six more deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded in B.C. since Friday afternoon, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday.
All six were residents of long-term care homes, and they include one person who died in early June but whose death has only recently been confirmed as a result of COVID-19. To date, 181 people have died of the novel coronavirus in this province.
Health Minister Adrian Dix described the deaths as "a source of enormous grief" for the victims' families and their communities.
"It is a moment of sorrow for all of us," he said.
Monday's update on the pandemic in B.C. also included 31 new cases confirmed over the last three days, for a total of 2,978 people to date.
There are currently 166 active cases in the province. Sixteen COVID-19 patients are in hospital, including four in intensive care.
The latest update includes three deaths at Holy Family Hospital that Providence Health had already announced over the weekend. A total of eight residents have now died due to the outbreak of COVID-19 at the long-term care home in southeast Vancouver.
No cases connected to Vancouver protests
During Monday's update, Henry said B.C. hasn't seen any cases of COVID-19 connected to the large protests in Vancouver over police violence and racism against Black people.
She said that while she can't be certain of the reasons for that, it may be because the rallies took place outside and many protesters wore masks and kept an appropriate distance from each other.
But she said that outbreaks in the U.S. suggest that outdoor parties, including on beaches for example, are still risky.
Henry issued a reminder to visitors from out of province who may be travelling to B.C. as society continues to open up.
She said all tourists should be aware that British Columbians are keeping their social circles small, keeping a physical distance from others, wearing masks when that isn't possible and staying home when feeling unwell.
Henry said she doesn't foresee tourism from the U.S. being safe any time soon, given the surge in numbers south of the border.
However, she once again urged British Columbians to remember that it's not possible to know someone's full story by the licence plate on their vehicle. That means giving strangers the benefit of the doubt, as well as modelling good behaviour and, when necessary, gently reminding others of how to prevent virus transmission.
Residents in Ottawa will join Toronto and Waterloo among others in mandatory mask usage. Residents in the capital will be required to wear non-medical masks in indoor public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19 starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
While Dr. Bonnie Henry has strongly recommended wearing a mask, the province has stopped short of mandating the use of non-medical masks out of concern for those who would have difficulty wearing one.
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With files from Roshini Nair