The number of British Columbians dying from illicit drug overdoses plateaued in 2018, despite significant efforts from groups around the province to prevent deaths. The BC Coroners Service reports there were 1,489 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018, just over the total of overdose deaths seen in 2017. It is likely the number of these deaths for 2018 will increase as investigations conclude. Learn more:

Victoria: British Columbia’s provincial health officer says rumours and misinformation should be replaced with facts when it comes to potential exposure to COVID-19 among students.

Dr. Bonnie Henry is encouraging parents to recognize that so-called exposure events do not mean their child has been exposed to the illness.

She says parents should not worry unless someone from public health has contacted them.

Henry says there have been no transmissions or outbreaks of COVID-19 at schools and health authorities follow up individually with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

She says there have been some exposures among students who have been hanging out in groups during breaks or after school, so parents should tell their children to stay in their cohorts.

Henry says B.C. recorded 267 cases of COVID-19 since Friday and three more people died, for a total of 233 fatalities.

B.C. has had 8,908 cases since the start of the pandemic, and 7,346 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The Canadian Press