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First COVID death in B.C. First Nations community as province totals 100 deaths

Last Updated Apr 25, 2020 at 7:59 pm PDT


Another two deaths were confirmed today, including the first at a First Nations community

Dr. Bonnie Henry says Indigenous elders are history keepers, and when they die, we all lose

There's also been a jump in new cases, with 95 more confirmed in B.C.

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Ninety-five people in British Columbia have contracted the coronavirus in 24-hours, and two have died, the provincial health officer reports.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says one of the latest deaths reported Saturday is a “tragedy” as it is the first death in a First Nations community.

“Our elders in particular in our First Nations communities, our culture and history keepers. They become ill, and when they die, we all lose,” she said.

“And I want you to know that we feel that collective loss.”

She adds at this is a particularly challenging time since pandemic restrictions prevent groups from gathering to pay their respects to the people who have died due to the coronavirus.

“My condolences and my heart goes out to this community and to the family,” she says.

Henry goes on to add the “dramatic jump” in cases is related to the ongoing Mission Federal Correctional Facility outbreak as 106 prisoners and 12 staff members have tested positive for the virus.

“Over the last few days we have been systematically testing all of the inmates and any of the staff who are have any symptoms at all so we’ve been looking at if we can find people who are asymptomatic ot with minimal symptoms for the most part, and so that’s why we’re seeing that big jump,” she says.

Currently, two inmates are in the hospital recovering from the virus.

She says new infection prevention and control measures have been put in place to support the facility to ensure the ongoing transmission is stopped.

New measures include wearing masks, enhanced cleaning, and education on the importance of infection control in the facility.

So far, in B.C., 1,137 people who had contracted the virus have fully recovered.