B.C. has marked a sixth straight day with out a loss of life from COVID-19, however Dr. Bonnie Henry is drawing consideration to the province’s different well being emergency with a tearful assertion concerning the overdose disaster.
On Thursday, the provincial well being officer stated B.C. has confirmed one other 14 circumstances of the novel coronavirus, to deliver the province’s complete to 2,694 up to now, together with 183 which can be nonetheless lively. 13 individuals are in hospital, together with 5 in intensive care.
A complete of 167 individuals have now died of COVID-19 in B.C., however as Henry identified, 170 died of suspected overdoses within the month of Might alone.
“I can’t specific how tough this information was to listen to,” Henry stated, her voice breaking. “I share your grief. These are our brothers and sisters, our co-workers … our buddies and our group.”
Restaurant restrictions easing
Henry additionally introduced Thursday that she is lifting restrictions on eating places that required them to function at 50 per cent of their common capability.
A modified public well being order requires eating places to find out how many individuals they’ll serve whereas nonetheless sustaining a two-metre distance between teams. Operators are required to observe their premises to guarantee that capability is not exceeded and people distances are maintained, together with in line-ups.
The order says there might be not more than six individuals in any celebration, and if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained between tables, a Plexiglas partition needs to be put in.
Buffets and self-serve stations are allowed to function so long as there’s a handwashing facility or hand sanitizer inside straightforward attain and indicators reminding prospects to scrub their palms earlier than touching something.
Thursday’s COVID-19 replace included no new outbreaks in health-care settings or locally, however public well being officers proceed to cope with 5 lively outbreaks in long-term care.
Up to now, 560 individuals have grow to be contaminated in reference to outbreaks in long-term care, together with 341 residents and 219 workers members. Well being Minister Adrian Dix stated work on implementing an order limiting long-term care workers to a single facility is now 96 per cent full.
No less than two new clusters of circumstances introduced in current days have been linked to massive household gatherings.
Henry repeats name for decriminalization
As she spoke concerning the spike in overdose deaths, Henry acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has solely worsened the disaster. Extra individuals are utilizing medicine alone due to bodily distancing measures, she stated, and drug toxicity is growing.
Henry stated worry of the legal justice system is a serious contributor to the issue, and she or he repeated her name for decriminalization of illicit drug possession for private use of medication.
She urged individuals who use medicine to name 811 for assist, to make use of overdose prevention websites and to hunt out the authorized prescription alternate options that are actually obtainable.
Henry additionally referred to as for household and buddies to succeed in out to family members who use unlawful substances and allow them to know it is OK to speak about it. She stated it is inconceivable to assist if there is not any communication.
In different information, a World Well being Group-funded examine confirms masks are effective each in well being care and group settings.
Researchers in B.C. are working at discovering another way of testing for COVID-19. The virus has primarily been examined for by nasal swabbing, but when it might be detected in saliva, check outcomes might be obtained in minutes and browse on a cellphone.
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