A large “Open” sign is seen on a window as people sit inside a restaurant in Vancouver, on Sunday, May 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s top doctor urges caution for protesters amid 24 COVID-19 cases, 1 death in two days

One senior has died in long-term care over past 48 hours

One more person has died since Saturday as B.C. recorded 24 new cases of COVID-19 over two days, Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday (June 1).

The province saw nine new cases between Saturday and Sunday, and 15 between Sunday and Monday. The person who died was a long-term care resident in Fraser Health. This brings the total death toll to 165, while the total number of test positives now sits at 2,597. Of those cases, 224 remain active, bringing the number of people who have recovered to 2,207. There are 32 patients in hospital and five people in ICU.

“There is is still transmission of COVID-19,” Henry said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Henry joined other provincial officials in pledging to uphold diversity and to speak out against racism. Henry’s update came the day after thousands of protesters gathered in Vancouver to rally against racism in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer was seen kneeling on the black man’s neck on video.

“Physical distancing saves lives,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said of both B.C.’s Phase Two reopening and of the anti-racism rallies.

Gatherings of 50 or more are banned for a reason, Dix noted, and the risk of spreading COVID-19 during a protest still exists.

Henry said she was hoping to not see an increase in cases as a result of the protest, but said it was a possibility.

“You may have put yourself at risk, so you need to monitor yourself carefully over the coming days to two weeks,” Henry urged protesters.

“I’m hoping we won’t see an increase in cases this week.”

As of June 1, the province has begun to allow camping in some provincial parks, with physical distancing still in place. Non-essential travel within B.C. is still discouraged, while crossing the border into the U.S. is still banned.

Henry said the reopening has gone “slowly and thoughtfully,” noting that she herself has gone out to eat at an outdoor restaurant patio.

READ MORE: Canada’s top doctor urges signs instead of shouting to stop COVID-19 spread at protests

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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