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HomeCranbrook NewsHeat-related deaths reach unprecedented numbers 

Heat-related deaths reach unprecedented numbers 

569 people died between June 20th and July 29th, 2021 from extreme heat.

Provincial officials said it was a 300 per cent increase from previous years.

“We are continuing to gather information about the circumstances of the deaths and will release data as it becomes available,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.

“We know there is significant interest from agencies and communities across the province for any information we can provide to support efforts to prevent similar deaths in the future.”

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The province said seniors were the most impacted with 79 per cent of the people who died being 65 or older, 65 per cent were age 70 or older and 40 per cent were age 80 or older.

“Anecdotally, our coroners reported that many of the deaths experienced were amongst those living alone in private residences with minimal ventilation,” added Lapointe. “We will continue to gather more detailed information to inform safety strategies.”

With a hot, dry summer expected to continue throughout the summer, Lapointe said people need to take precautions and look out for friends and family.

“Knowing that our older residents are more vulnerable, we ask that you please look out for family, friends and neighbours, particularly those who are elderly and live alone,” added Lapointe.

“Whenever possible, people are encouraged to visit cooler environments, such as cooling centres, malls, libraries and other air-conditioned community spaces for essential respite from the effects of severe heat.

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