A British Columbia man in his forties has died to date from COVID-19, one of the youngest known victims of the new coronavirus in the province.
Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the latest death on Monday and said 63 more people had tested positive for the virus since Saturday.
The deceased man was previously infected with the virus and died at home rather than in hospital, said Henry. This is the second community death attributed to COVID-19 in the province.
The BC Coroners Service confirmed to CTV News Vancouver Island that the man was from the Lower Mainland, British Columbia.
On Monday, 1,266 people were infected with COVID-19 in the province, of whom 783 were considered fully recovered.
39 people died from COVID-19 in British Columbia. Among those who still suffer from the virus, 140 are currently hospitalized, including 72 in intensive care.
Henry said the number of nursing homes facing local COVID-19 outbreaks has decreased from 24 to 21 locations.
“Three of the precedents have been declared complete, which means that there have been no cases during two incubation periods, so this is good news,” she said.
The provincial health worker also announced two new cases of the virus at a federal correctional facility in Mission.
“This is in the middle of our critical weeks here for COVID-19,” said Henry.
“We must be firm in our commitment to maintain the line now in British Columbia. We continue to see clusters and epidemics in our communities and facilities and these hot spots are of great concern. “
Henry said on Saturday that he was optimistic that the number of new coronavirus cases would drop during the day, but warned that cases could increase again. On Monday, she reiterated that the rate of new infections in the province is “slowing down”.
Last week marked the deadliest week of the pandemic to date in British Columbia, with more than a dozen deaths reported since Wednesday.
“No day when someone dies from COVID-19 is a good day,” said British Columbia. Health Minister Adrian Dix on Monday.
The province continues to try to secure protective equipment for healthcare workers, Dix said, adding that new supplies of masks and respirators are currently being tested.
“Since the masks are not from our traditional suppliers, we need to make sure they are safe and effective before putting them on the market,” said Dix.
He noted that the province is working with the federal government to ensure compliance with self-isolation and quarantine orders.
“There must be enforcement, without exception,” said Dix. “We think we have agreed on this point. “
With the long weekend looming, the Minister of Health stressed that people must maintain their isolation regardless of religious or family traditions.
“This is not the time to come together as a group to celebrate, but to recognize these important moments of faith in new ways – virtually – to both meet the demands of religious faith, but also to ensure that let everyone be protected in these times, “he said.
Henry urged people to “keep the firewall strong” by staying at home, keeping calm and speaking virtually with their family doctor to deal with any anxiety they may have.