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

Local liquor store raising funds for food bank

On May 30, a portion of sales at JAK’s Beer Wine & Spirits will be donated to the food bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

City of Campbell River re-opening most park amenities and outdoor washrooms

Splash park, playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor volleyball courts, indoor facilities not yet

First Nation’s guardians ‘take matters into their own hands’ and organize environmental clean-up

Mamalilikulla guardians step up to clear abandoned boats after no response from natural resource officers

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read