B.C. announces 6 deaths from COVID-19, 31 new cases
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on May 26, 2020: (Government of B.C. / Flickr)
VICTORIA -- Five people in British Columbia died of COVID-19 over the weekend and a previously unreported death was added to the virus death toll Monday.
The revelation marks an especially deadly weekend for the province, where the tally now stands at 183 people dead from COVID-19.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 31 new cases of coronavirus have been discovered since Friday, putting the total infections in B.C. since the pandemic began at 2,978 cases.
Four of the deaths announced Monday occurred in Vancouver-area long-term care facilities, while the other two deaths were recorded in long-term care centres in the Fraser Health area. One of the deaths in the Fraser region happened at the Langley Lodge centre in June but was only now attributed to COVID-19, Henry said.
"To lose six people, all in long-term care, over the past three days is a source of enormous grief for the families involved, for the care-givers involved, for the communities involved and we share that sense of loss," B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said.
The health minister said the well-being of residents in long-term care continues to be a serious concern for health officials.
There are currently four active outbreaks of COVID-19 in care centres, affecting a total of 393 residents and 246 staff since the pandemic began.
The provincial health officer said there have been no cases of coronavirus linked to the mass gatherings at Black Lives Matter protests across the province last month.
"We follow up every single case here in B.C., as you know, and currently we do not have any cases that have been associated with the protests that took place," Henry said.
"In talking with my colleagues in the U.S., they also have not seen surges related to those activities and it likely is a combination of them mostly being outside… keeping distances, wearing masks."
Henry said British Columbians shouldn't expect to see many U.S. tourists returning to B.C. before the end of summer.
"I cannot see vacation travel this summer from the U.S. given the rates that we're seeing and how widespread it is in the U.S. right now," the provincial health officer said.
Most of B.C.'s cases of coronavirus have been found in the Lower Mainland, with 1,570 cases recorded in the Fraser Health region and 1,008 cases discovered in the Vancouver Coastal Health region since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in the province, the Island Health region has confirmed 132 cases, the Interior Health region has recorded 203 cases, and the Northern Health region has reported 65.
There remain 166 active cases of coronavirus in B.C. Sixteen people are in hospital with the virus, including four in critical or intensive care.
A total of 2,629 people in B.C. have fully recovered from COVID-19.