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Opening Canada-U.S. border dependent on U.S. COVID-19 progress: Dr. Bonnie Henry

Last Updated Jun 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm PDT

FILE - Peace Arch border crossing (CityNews)

Dr. Bonner Henry says she is monitoring neighbouring states like Washington as pandemic numbers spike

The death toll in Washington is more than six times higher than it is in B.C.

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s top doctor is monitoring the provinces neighbouring states like Washington, where the death toll is six times more than what it is in B.C.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says, spiking pandemic numbers in the southern states need to be monitored if opening the Canadian border is to become possible.

“Hospitalizations again are dramatically going up — not just because of testing, but because people are still transmitting widely in the community. So that’s a risk to us,” she says.

Henry is worried about what’s happening in nearby Washington state, adding, “They have a couple of quite large outbreaks in processing plants.”

Although she says she does recognize the “great work” the U.S. is making in terms of public health.

Henry adds, truckers who drive back and forth across the border are making sure they are doing what is necessary to keep themselves and everyone else safe.

“And we have had people who have returned from trucking and others from the U.S. who have had symptoms who have been tested and have not passed it on to others. So we need to continue to be sure — to monitor carefully and to make sure people get tested,” she says.

On Tuesday, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a state-wide order, stating that anyone out in public must wear a mask. It is set to take effect on Friday.