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First COVID-19 Death in Interior Health Reported as Province’s Total Cases Rises to 1,561

The Provincial Government is reporting three more COVID-19 related deaths, including the first in the Interior Health region, while the provincial number of infected has risen to 1,561.

According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, the man was in his 60’s who had been recovering from home before his death. The two other deaths in B.C. included one in the Fraser Health Area and one in the Vancouver Coastal region. B.C.’s total death toll from COVID-19 is currently up to 75.

Henry has also reported that 955 people across B.C. have recovered, meaning there are currently 606 active cases in the province.

The total for infections from the virus in Interior Health is at 146 as of Wednesday, April 15th.

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Henry said in Wednesday’s briefing that smaller communities have unique needs in regards to health care and essential services during the pandemic.

“Our smaller, more remote and first nations communities may have limited resources and services. This makes it much more challenging to address COVID-19, both in preventing it from entering those communities and responding,” said Henry. “Resources are being created to support communities around the province and provide them with the resources they need.”

British Columbians are being also reminded that it is safe to use hospitals and emergency medical services if residents need them for concerns not related to COVID-19.

“I want to reassure people that if you have diagnostic tests that have been booked, it is safe to go to those. It is safe to call 9-1-1 if you need that urgent medical care, do not hesitate to call for help,” said Henry. “We want to make sure that we are doing our best to protect people in our community from all of the other issues that may affect our health. In particular, I want to encourage people with young children that they continue with their childhood immunization programs.”

Dr. Henry added that provincial health officials know that the measures put in place may be difficult for some people, but they cannot ease up too soon.

“We’ve heard some anecdotes of people getting frustrated and angry. I think we have to realize that this is often a manifestation of anxiety and fear that we have,” said Henry. “This is a time when we really need to stand together to support each other, to respond to anger with kindness.”

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