B.C. Coroners Service: No regional data on heatwave deaths available

The province saw 719 unexpected deaths over this past week, three times the provincial average.

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File photo: Williamson Lake has seen a busy week as people swarm the beach to cool down. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo
  • Today, Chief Coroner of British Columbia Lisa Lapointe released a statement regarding a spike in unexpected deaths in the province. From June 25 to July 1, a preliminary 719 deaths were reported to B.C. coroners.

“We are releasing this information as it is believed likely the extreme weather B.C. has experienced in the past week is a significant contributing factor to the increased number of deaths,” said Lapointe in a statement. The 719 deaths are three times higher than the provincial average during the same timeframe.

“Today, the coroner’s service is seeing a downward trend from the number of deaths reported over the past few days, and we are hopeful this trend will continue,” said Lapointe. However, as some parts of the province see continuously high temperatures, heat precautions are vital.

Many of the deaths were older individuals living alone in private residences with insufficient ventilation. Lapointe emphasizes the importance of checking on high-risk individuals during this heatwave.

When asked for Revelstoke heatwave information, B.C. Coroners Services said that “at this time, we do not have regional-specific data available.”

To learn more about staying safe during this heatwave, the Government of B.C. has advice available online here.