Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan hosted a conference call Tuesday, April 7, 2020, with about 130 faith leaders to discuss the Easter holiday and other upcoming celebrations. (John Horgan/Twitter)

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

People of faith in British Columbia were urged Tuesday to celebrate Easter and other coming religious holidays through virtual gatherings to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Easter celebrations are about to start followed by several other religious holidays, but those ceremonies must be different this year.

“We’ll be celebrating collectively around the world in ways we’ve never done before,” Henry said at a news conference.

Henry said she participated in a conference call Tuesday with about 130 faith leaders to discuss the Easter holiday and other upcoming celebrations. She said the leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic to allow people to connect without threatening their health.

Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix were also part of the meeting, Henry said.

READ MORE: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

“We can still celebrate and care for those around us in virtual ways,” she said. “I encourage people to continue to look for those connections online.

“To the followers and congregations around the province here in B.C., please, now is our time that we need to pay special attention to our elders and our seniors. Our elders hold our history, our language and our traditions and are a precious part of our communities around this province.”

Henry reported four deaths on Tuesday as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total to 43 in the province. She said 25 new cases have been diagnosed for a total of 1,291 people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus in B.C.

Henry said 805 people have fully recovered from the disease.

She said 138 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19 and 66 of them are in intensive or critical care.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the Easter long weekend is usually a time for people in B.C. to visit cottages or take weekend trips, but this year they should stay home.

“When there is some evidence we are flattening the curve, we need to double down,” he said. “Let’s bend the curve, not the rules, this weekend.”

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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

Harrison Hot Springs Resort eases in to reopening

Reservations available Friday, May 29

Potential for gravel removal this summer in Chilliwack has riled river stewards

Group says no ‘discernible merit’ for gravel mining when balanced off with the environmental damage

Kent council votes 4-1 in favour of Teacup properties development

Coun. Kerstin Schwichtenberg was the only ‘no’ in difficult vote

MP Vis advocates for faster internet in rural communities

Less than 45 per cent of rural households in Canada have high-speed internet

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read