Man in 40s becomes British Columbia’s second COVID-19 ‘community death’

Man in 40s becomes British Columbia's second COVID-19 'community death'
Ben Nelms/CBC
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry continue to provide daily updates on COVID-19 in B.C.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said Monday B.C. has seen its second “community death” related to COVID-19.

The person who died is a man in his 40s and the BC Coroners Service is investigating. He passed away at home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and was a known positive case, Henry said.

“Young people are not immune to this,” Henry said.

A death in the community is a death outside of a hospital or healthcare centre. The first community death was announced on March 30.

There have been a total of 39 COVID-19 deaths in the province.

There are 63 new coronavirus cases: 26 new cases between Saturday and Sunday and 37 between Sunday and Monday, bringing the provincial total to 1,266. The total number of recoveries is at 783.

There are 140 people in hospital and 72 in intensive care.

There are 79 cases in Island Health, 586 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 450 in Fraser Health, 128 in Interior Health and 23 in Northern Health. Two hundred and ten COVID-19 cases are linked to outbreaks at long-term care homes.

However, three outbreaks at long-term care homes have been declared over, meaning there have been no new cases over two successive incubation periods.

Henry said there is also a new outbreak at a correctional facility: two test positive cases at the federal prison in Mission, B.C.

“These hotspots are concerning. They can quickly challenge our response,” Henry said.

“We must be steadfast in holding the line.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the hospitalization rate has gone down since Friday and across the province, there are 4,422 hospital beds. The province is at 58.8 per cent capacity.

Henry said the percentage of overall cases have been slowing thanks to physical distancing measures over the past three weeks.

Dix said with a number of religious holidays coming up that people are diligent.

“We have to be 100 per cent all in,” Dix said.

Earlier Monday, Canada’s top public-health doctor said masks are a way for people who might have COVID-19 without realizing it to keep from spreading the illness.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the change from previous advice is due to increasing evidence that people with the virus can spread it without knowing they’re sick.

She says masks worn this way protect others more than they protect the people wearing them, and she stresses that medical masks still need to be preserved for front-line health workers.

She adds that wearing a mask doesn’t exempt people from other measures they should take against COVID-19, including physical distancing and regular handwashing.

Watch the April 6, 2020, news conference below: 

More to come

With files from The Canadian Press. 

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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