As B.C. continues to smash the pandemic curve, Dr. Bonnie Henry turns to overdose deaths | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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As B.C. continues to smash the pandemic curve, Dr. Bonnie Henry turns to overdose deaths

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Image Credit: flickr.com
June 11, 2020 - 4:31 PM

Interior Health has now gone 14 days without a new case of COVID-19, part of a positive trend across B.C. where only 14 new cases were reported across the province in the last 24 hours. It's also been six days since someone in B.C. died of the disease.

That brings the total cases of COVID-19 to 2,694 since the pandemic hit. There are 183 active cases in the province with 13 people in hospital, five of whom are in ICUs. In B.C. 167 people have died and 2,344 have recovered.

The pandemic has once again been upstaged by staggering numbers of overdose deaths across the province, likely exacerbated by the novel coronavirus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry choked up while talking about the record number of drug overdose deaths recorded in B.C. in May and encouraged people to look out for each other.

“This is another time while you’re physically apart where we need to connect with each other,” she said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: B.C. records highest-ever month of overdose deaths

She renewed her call to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.

“We’re not talking about the dealers,” Dr. Henry said. “We’re not talking about the manufacturers – the people who are making money off of people who are using drugs. What we’re talking about is having alternatives to the criminal justice system for people who use drugs and have small amounts for their own use.”

She also talked about her support for Vancouver to become an NHL hub.

If an agreement is reached, no team can have more than 50 people, including coaches, trainers and players. They will be in isolation for the whole time – likely well into the fall. They will not be able to interact with the public or members of other teams and there will be no spectators at games.

The NHL has rigorous testing and screening protocols, Dr. Henry said.

“If someone did test positive, there would be a plan for how that team could be isolated like we do for other settings where people would all be tested and we would have a plan for managing that individual,” Dr. Henry said. “And, of course – and this is what, I think, the NHL was most concerned about – if people do test positive, once they’re in that bubble, that could affect the entire tournament.


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