The Saturday COVID-19 update from the Province of British Columbia reached an unfortunate milestone today, as Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that the Province has now marked it's 100th death in the days since the virus was first reported.
“We are saddened to report two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Vancouver Island and Vancouver Coastal health regions, for a total of 100 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones.
Doctor Henry took time to speak to one of those deaths, a member of a Vancouver Island First Nation community
"Included in the deaths though in the last 24 hours, is our First death in one of BC's First Nation communities. Along with the many lives we've lost to COVID-19, this is a tragedy that is beyond just us, it's a tragedy for all us. Our elders in particular in our First Nations communities are culture and history keepers. When they become ill and when they die, we all lose. And I want you to know that we feel that collective loss today, my thoughts are with her family and her entire community as I recognize the tragic impact this has on all of them"
Also of significance on the day, was a surge in new cases confirmed, with 95 cases reported today making for a total of 1,948 in British Columbia.
Of the confirmed cases 778 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 853 are in the Fraser Health region, 115 are in the Island Health region, 160 are in the Interior Health region and 42 are in the Northern Health region, the Northern Health number reflect the third day in a row where no new cases were recorded in the North.
Saturday's outline also observed that there were no new outbreaks in long term care, assisted living or acute care facilities over the last 24 hours.
Today's review however did provide some further background on the increasing number of case files generate at food processing facilities and correctional institutions, findings which contributed to the spike in new positives today.
"As of today, 18 employees have now been confirmed positive at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam, and 35 employees are confirmed positive at United Poultry in Vancouver. Additionally, there are 11 confirmed positive cases connected to the Kearl Lake project in Alberta and 118 inmates and staff confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre."
Dr. Henry also took note of recent Provincial measures to find housing for residents of urban camps in the Vancouver and Victoria areas.
“We have two public health emergencies in our province, the overdose crisis and now COVID-19, making daily life an even greater struggle for many.
Keeping a safe physical distance from others and staying home when ill are the best things we can do with COVID-19, but we recognize this can be extremely difficult for those with precarious housing.
This is further compounded for people who may also face mental-health and addiction issues. “To address these challenges, today the Province announced important action to provide safe housing, food and wraparound support for people living in encampments in Victoria and Vancouver.
The addition of more than 1,000 hotel rooms provides a further means for vulnerable citizens to have access to secure housing with the necessary health-care and mental-health supports. “This action is welcome news, reducing the immediate health and safety risks for people living in temporary encampments."
The Doctor also called attention to the potential for family violence during the stressful times we are in, noting that there are many services available for victims of crime and how they should seek immediate assistance by calling 9-1-1 if they feel threatened in any way, as well as to outline the other provincial resources available.
“We also know that being home more can unfortunately lead to increased stress and, in some cases, violence.
If you are experiencing violence, we want you to know that you are not alone. VictimLinkBC is available 24/7 to provide information and services to all victims of crime, in addition to immediate crisis support for victims of family and sexual violence.
We must do all we can to protect and support each other. We will get through this, but we will be stronger by working together to take care of our loved ones and ourselves.”
You can review the Saturday update here.
The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.
Federal Government site
British Columbia Government site
The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.
More from Northern Health can be reviewed here
You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.
Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.
For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee