Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Refrigerated morgue truck deployed in Fraser Health: BC Coroners Service

B.C. is dealing with two public health crises

A refrigerated morgue truck has been deployed and put into operation in the Fraser Health region, the BC Coroners Service confirmed.

In an email Tuesday (Jan. 12), the agency said that there is a provincial working group that includes the province’s five health authorities that actively monitors mortuary capacity and works to “ensure plans are in place for potential increases in demand for storage.”

The morgue truck is part of that plan, the agency added.

“Although we are seeing a bit of a strain on the system, our plans are working as a result of the collaboration with Ministry of Health, BC Coroners Service and BC Funeral Home Association,” the coroners service said.

The province is dealing with two health crises; the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed 1,010 people, and the overdose crisis which led to at least 1,548 deaths in 2020, although December figures are not yet available.

READ MORE: 153 people died of drug overdoses in November in B.C.; deaths climb in seniors

READ MORE: B.C. sees another 446 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, nine more deaths


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

B.C. overdosesCoronavirusoverdoseoverdose crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Rossland Rotary celebrate seven decades of service to community.
Raise a glass to Rossland Rotary: celebrating 70 years

Support your local cafes/restaurants/pubs on Friday and let Rossland Rotary buy you a beverage

Syringa Provincial Park is popular camping destination. Photo: Betsy Kline
Water upgrades coming at Syringa Provincial Park

Upgrades at the popular camping and day-use park will be ready for 2021 reopening

Scamsters target Montrose resident. File photo
Fraudsters strike again in Montrose

A Montrose resident was taken for thousands in a COVID-related scam

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Vancouver Island woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny rescue operation

Amy McLaughlin has rescued more than 400 bunnies, pushing for the capacity to help more

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read