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

BC Cancer Foundation launches COVID-19 response fund

Abbotsford resident encourages support of cancer research and care

Nurses acknowledged with new scholarship at UFV

Jackie and Dick Newton’s daughter donates to honour nurses who cared for her parents

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe B.C. over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Robert Vroom, died as result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Abbotsford Hospital COVID-19 outbreak over, a new one reported at business

New World Technologies is site of ‘very small’ outbreak, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

UPDATED: Missing Abbotsford man, 77, found safe and sound

John Brooks had last been seen getting on a bus on Monday, June 1

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read