B.C.’s new coronavirus cases remain at a low level, with 14 new cases recorded June 11 and no additional deaths or outbreaks in the health care system.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said one of the province’s most significant COVID-19 outbreaks, employees travelling to the Kearl Lake oil sands processing facility in northern Alberta, is also winding down and expected to be declared over next week. B.C. has also gone six days without a new virus-related death, as five outbreaks in senior care homes continue to be monitored.
The positive pandemic results were overshadowed by the B.C. Coroner Service report that there were a record 170 drug overdose deaths in May. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix emphasized that the isolation measures of the virus control effort have increased the risk of street drugs such as fentanyl.
Henry said the highly toxic fentanyl now being found in B.C. communities is the latest indication that pharmaceutical substitutes are a safer alternative. Getting people from homeless camps to supportive housing is also helping, she said.
“We know that using alone right now is exceedingly deadly,” Henry said.
The latest easing of B.C. public health orders is removal of the 50-per-cent limit for restaurant seating. Henry said the new guidance is for each restaurant to provide a maximum capacity number based on its own space, both inside and in patios that are being allowed to expand in many communities.