FOR the sixth day in a row, there have been no COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Thursday that there have been 167 deaths in the province.
They announced 14 new cases who have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 2,694 cases in B.C.
There are 183 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,344 people who tested positive have recovered.
Of the total COVID-19 cases, 13 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 917 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,386 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 195 in the Interior Health region and 66 in the Northern Health region.
There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, five long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks.
There have been no new community outbreaks and public health teams continue to provide support for the six ongoing community outbreaks.
Dix and Henry said: “We have spoken before about the many unintended impacts of COVID-19 – positive and negative. We have seen British Columbians coming together in kindness and support for each other, and we have also seen tragic death.
“COVID-19 is not our only health crisis. Today, the BC Coroners Service announced that 170 people in B.C. have died from overdoses from a toxic illicit drug supply in the month of May alone.
“The extent and complexity of the two crises we are facing, the overdose crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, have stretched our public health capacity to the limits. COVID-19 is forcing all of us to stay further apart from others, isolating people and adding to what is already an immense challenge.
“There is no one, single cause to the overdose emergency, and there is no one, simple solution.
“Addiction and substance use are complex. We must eliminate the stigma and shame that leads people to be afraid to reach out to their family or friends to even talk about their drug use, and we must all do our part to protect ourselves, our communities and our loved ones.
“We must all show compassion and understanding for our family, our friends or our colleagues. We have shown what we can do to look out for one another in B.C. and, whether it is COVID-19 or drug use, that saves lives.
“The provincial health officer’s order for food and liquor service establishments has been amended to allow for the inclusion of patios when creating a safety plan and calculating the maximum number of patrons to meet physical distancing requirements. The order also includes details on partitions and the maximum number of patrons at each table, requirements for self-service stations and distance requirements for areas where patrons may congregate.
“While like many British Columbians, we would welcome the return of NHL hockey, there will be no exceptions to the rules or public health guidelines and orders here in B.C.
“We have reviewed the NHL proposal and have written a letter to the federal government confirming our support as the plan exceeds B.C.’s requirements and the criteria for protecting our communities, without compromise.
“What we do each day and every day does make a difference. Without exception, take the necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 and if you use drugs, know that there is help.”