People take in the sunset at English Bay Beach, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 21, 2020. The City of Vancouver asked those coming to the park and beach to maintain a distance of two metres between one another due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Doctors of B.C. urged to stand behind official messaging, as some say response is lacking

Social distancing measures are key, CEO Dr. Kathleen Ross says

Just a day after more than 200 doctors signed a letter asking B.C. health officials to do more about COVID-19, another group is asking them to fall in line.

A letter, sent to members Sunday by Doctors of B.C. president Dr. Kathleen Ross, urged them to “amplify Dr. [Bonnie] Henry’s message.”

The letter appears to be in counter to one sent by Fraser Health doctors Saturday, which urged Henry, the provincial health officer, to take more decisive action.

“We need to act now to prevent a catastrophic number of preventable deaths,” the doctors’ letter said. “At our current rate of spread, our hospitals will become overwhelmed within a few weeks… we need to do more.”

The situation has changed quickly in B.C., which has recorded at least 426 cases of COVID-19 and as of Sunday, still had half of the country’s 10 deaths. Many of those are associated with an outbreak at a care home in North Vancouver.

In the past couple of weeks, B.C. officials have suspended schools, closed all sit-down restaurants and all bars who cannot switch to takeout, as well as beauty salons and banned gatherings of 50 or more people. Both provincial and national parks have also been shut down. However, there has been a growing murmur on social media that not enough is being done.

Photos and videos of people not socially distancing, or not staying at least two metres away from others, have sparked ire and the hashtag #COVIDIOTS.

In her letter, Ross urged doctors to email their patients to make sure they were getting Henry’s message.

“As physicians it is crucial that we are united in providing the public with clear guidance. During these times of crisis, adhering to the public health direction as the single source of truth is imperative,” she said. “The truth is that self-isolation and maintaining social distance will save lives.”

READ MORE: ‘We need to do more’: Fraser Health doctors send dire letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story called Dr. Kathleen Ross the CEO of Doctors of B.C. Ross is the president, not the CEO.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elk Valley municipalities send out 2020 property taxes

2020 property tax payments, annual utility payments, and homeowner grant applications are due July 2

ERA seeks to enhance local wetlands

The ERA proposed a new project at the lastest Committee of the Whole meeting

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

RDEK urges residents to be prepared for emergencies including flooding, wildfire

The East Kootenay region has been placed on a high streamflow advisory

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read