3 dead in B.C., including 1 on Vancouver Island, as 267 new COVID-19 cases found
British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VICTORIA -- A total of 267 new COVID-19 cases were discovered in B.C. over the weekend, as well as three more deaths related to the virus, health officials announced Monday.
One of the deaths was in the Island Health region, while the other two were located in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says that the person who died on Vancouver Island was a man in his 60’s who had underlying health conditions.
The man died in his home and was identified as someone who had the virus after his death.
“(This was) very disturbing and tragic for his family and our condolences go out to his family and community,” said Henry.
Island Health also confirmed the man’s passing with CTV News Monday. A total of six people are now confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in the health authority.
“On behalf of Island Health, I want to share our deepest condolences with family and friends of this individual,” said Kathy MacNeil, Island Health president and CEO, in a statement.
Monday’s update brings B.C.’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 8,908 since the pandemic began, and the overall death toll to 233.
There are now 1,302 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, including 69 people who are in hospital for treatment, 22 of whom require critical care.
Three new health-care outbreaks appeared in B.C. over the weekend, bringing the number of health-care outbreaks to 16 across the province.
The new outbreaks are located at hospitals and long-term care facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.
One new community outbreak was also announced in the Interior Health region Monday.
B.C.’s top doctor says five confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked to an event at the Calvary Chapel Church in Kelowna.
A total of 3,372 people are now under public health monitoring due to exposure to known COVID-19 cases.
Henry is now asking for all British Columbians to dial back social interactions, especially as “super spreader” events – when one person transmits COVID-19 to a large group of people – continue to be seen in the province.
“The best thing we can all do right now is take a step back from our social interactions,” she said.
Henry went so far as to ask for residents to “travel less” and to make sure that they’re sticking to family members and a consistent social group of six people maximum.
B.C.’s top doctor adds that all health regions are now posting school exposure events on their websites, if and when they occur.
Henry encourages everyone to check their local health authority website regularly to make sure they are up to date on possible exposure events.
B.C.’s provincial health officer notes that exposure events announced at schools likely won’t affect every individual student.
“Exposure events do not mean your child has been exposed to COVID-19,” said Henry, explaining that affected families will be contacted by B.C. contact tracing staff if they need to self-isolate.
Most of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases have been located in the Lower Mainland, with 3,266 found in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 4,555 discovered in the Fraser Health region since the start of the pandemic.
The Island Health region has reported 206 cases, an increase of two since Friday.
Elsewhere in the province, the Interior Health region has reported 531 cases while the Northern Health region has confirmed 303. A total of 87 people who normally live outside of Canada have tested positive for the virus in B.C.
A total of 7,346 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began.