B.C.’s top doctor fought back tears Thursday as she responded to a record number of overdose fatalities in the province last month.
The B.C. Coroners Service reported 175 suspected overdose fatalities in June, the province’s highest-ever monthly death toll. COVID-19 is linked to 189 deaths in total in the province.
“We need to put as much time and effort and kindness and compassion into caring for people who use drugs as we have been successful in doing in responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Henry urged the federal government to end criminal penalties for people found in possession of small quantities of drugs, and renewed her call for access to “clean” drugs for people with addictions.
“I am calling again on the federal government to take this to heart, to take the advice of the chiefs of police who know that this is an important step … and there’s no more important time for us to do this than now,” said Henry.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called for decriminalization of simple possession last week.
Dr. Bonnie Henry (Photo from BC Government Flickr)
Health officials in B.C. reported 223 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are 2,009 active cases in the province, with 4,637 people under active public health monitoring.
A total of 10,247 people who tested positive have now recovered.
Currently, 75 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 24 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Vancouver Island only had one new confirmed case.
There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at Laurel Place and Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge. In total, 16 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
The outbreaks at PICS Assisted Living, Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence and Thornebridge Gardens Retirement Residence have been declared over.
There have also been two new community outbreaks at Coast Spas Manufacturing and Pace Processing.
“In recent days, we have seen a number of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community and in long-term care facilities,” Henry says. “Contact-tracing teams throughout our province are working around the clock to stop further spread, but it requires all of us to do our part to be successful in these efforts.”
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Friday:
Toronto COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise
The City of Toronto said there were 317 new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the city’s total to 25,913. There are 123 people hospitalized, which is an increase of 17 people from Thursday.
#COVID19 is on the rise in Toronto. There have been a total of 25,913 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 317 new cases today. There are 123 people hospitalized, an increase of 17 new people.
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,913 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of three deaths since the previous day. Eight health-care workers and staff in long-term care homes have died.
There are 77 current outbreaks in homes, an decrease of three.
The ministry also indicated there are currently 229 active cases among long-term care residents and 237 active cases among staff — up by 23 and down by six cases respectively in the last day.
Ontario long-term care commission provides government recommendations for 2nd wave in homes
Ontario’s independent commission into long-term care in the province has released early recommendations for the Ford government to implement as the second wave of the coronavirus is in full swing.
The report found that in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 55 per cent of long-term care homes in the province reported an outbreak, while 75 per cent of all deaths were represented by long-term care residents.
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Earlier findings found that long-term care homes in the province suffered from staffing shortages, and a lack of strong infection and prevention and control measures (IPAC), among other things.
Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 1,698 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 946 among students and 245 among staff (507 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 72 more cases from the previous day.
In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 440 cases reported among students and 95 cases among staff (261 individuals were not identified) — totaling 796 cases.
The COVID-19 cases are currently from 514 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Five schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.
There have been a total of 357 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of eight (four new child cases and four new staff cases). Out of 5,231 child care centres in Ontario, 133 currently have cases and 50 centres are closed.
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