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

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre garden opening June 16

Virtual art exhibits and gift shop to come

A LOOK BACK: maritime history of Alberni Inlet

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with Alberni Valley Museum

EDITORIAL: It’s time for Canada to admit to its own racism

Make no mistake, racism exists in Canada.

UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

ALBERNI GOLF: First scramble of the 2020 season a success

60 golfers participated in the J & L Mixed Scramble

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read