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

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

Proposed $2.5-million renovation at Dover Bay secondary would increase school’s capacity

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to submit draft concept plan to Ministry of Education by Aug. 1

Nanaimo Art Gallery announces new executive director

Former Prince George gallery director Carolyn Holmes to take on role

School district reveals restart plans for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

K-5 students will see two days of instruction a week, 6-12 students once a week

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No government interested in paying for rail right now

Rail advocates are ignoring the basic problem of affordability, says letter writer

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch in Nanaimo’s south end

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by police after City of Nanaimo crew found it

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

RDN Transit to see rollout of 15 new HandyDart buses

Buses will have temporary protective barriers installed to prevent spread of COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read