British Columbia reports six additional deaths from COVID-19 since Friday

VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor says there haven't been any cases of COVID-19 associated with Black Lives Matter protests in the province.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says that's likely because the protests have been outside where people have kept their distance and worn masks, which is different from cases seen in the United States after large outdoor parties and beach gatherings.

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"So it's something inherently different about what you're doing with a group of people partying on a beach versus what we're seeing with some of these protests," she told a news conference on Monday.

Transmission at parties and gatherings could be attributed to the close contact over a continuous period of time in a closed environment, Henry said.

"It's when you're spending time with people, sharing foods and drinks with people, when you're partying, dancing, laughing, kissing, hugging ... those are the situations you are much more likely to spread droplets between people."

The government reported six more deaths due to COVID-19 on Monday with all those who died being in long term care. One person died in June but that death has only now been attributed to the virus.

The total number of people who have died due to COVID-19 in B.C. stands at 183.

There have been 31 new cases of the novel coronavirus since Friday, with a total of 2,978 infections.

Meanwhile, a local health authority is warning the public about a possible exposure to COVID-19 at a Vancouver hotel.

Vancouver Coastal Health is asking people who visited Hotel Belmont's bar and nightclub between June 27 and 29 to monitor themselves for 14 days.

People who tested positive for the virus visited those areas of the hotel, it said.

As long as they remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and they should continue with their usual daily activities, the health authority said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.

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