B.C.'s COVID-19 cases increase by 24 over the weekend, concern about spread in protests - InfoNews

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B.C.'s COVID-19 cases increase by 24 over the weekend, concern about spread in protests

Dr. Bonnie Henry June 1, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
June 01, 2020 - 3:51 PM

Take a stand against racism but do so peacefully and while keeping a safe distance from one another, B.C.’s provincial health officer said today, after announcing 24 new cases of COVID-19 in the province.

“We know that British Columbians have been speaking up against racism and I want to say, I'm very pleased that this was done peacefully,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said, referring to a Vancouver rally that brought out thousands of people to rally for George Floyd, a black American man who was killed when a police officer put his knee to his neck for more than eight minutes.

“Like all Canadians, I strongly believe in the importance of upholding our shared values of inclusion and tolerance. Peaceful demonstration is our right — one that is important to all of us — but we cannot forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic that is affecting our communities and our loved ones.”

Taking care of ourselves and each other, even in the current time, is our responsibility, Dr. Henry said.

The reality is, however, that racialized communities are at greater risk of having a devastating impact during this pandemic, and that includes indigenous communities.

“Out of respect for them, we must be careful in how we exercise our right to peaceful demonstration,” Dr. Henry said. “I saw many people wearing masks and keeping safe distances yesterday and for that, I thank you.”

Dr. Henry said that she wants to see that to continue and to make sure that this virus doesn’t spread further. This, she said, is particularly true with healthcare workers or those who have vulnerable people in their circles.

While mass demonstrations are a concern for virus spread, Dr. Henry said, in general, the province opened up more today and the concern going forward is that transmissions will increase.

Throughout B.C., one-third of children from Kindergarten to Grade 3 went back to school, transit picked up and playgrounds have opened in cities.

“We run a risk, if we are not continuing to use the tools we have that we know work, we are going to give the chance to spread widely again,” she said.

That, she said, could set back further opening up of B.C.’s economy.

There were 24 new COVID-19 cases in the last two days, bringing B.C.’s total to 2,597, two weeks from the date of the province’s loosening of restrictions. There are 224 active cases and there was one additional death in that time frame as well.

That includes 904 in the Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,307 people in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Vancouver Island health region, 195 people in the Interior Health region and 64 people in the Northern Health region.

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