The province’s health officer says COVID-19 is not the only health crisis in British Columbia.

In today’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry touched on the release from the BC Coroners Service regarding the number of people who died from fatal drug overdoses in May.

Illegal drugs in B.C. killed a record number of 170 people last month.

“I cannot express how difficult this news has been to hear,” Henry said. “My thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones and I share your grief.”

“These are our brothers and sisters, our co-workers, our sons, our daughters, our friends, our community. The extent and challenges of these crises we are facing, both the overdose crisis and on top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic, have really stretched our resources to the limit.”

Henry says we are not only seeing people die in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, but across the province.

She says it’s some of the highest rates we’ve ever seen of people being affected by the street drug supply.

“We also know that COVID-19 is forcing all of us to stay farther apart from each other. This can be very isolating for some people, and makes it more able for them to hide their drug use from others even if they might otherwise have reached out for help,” Henry adds.

Meanwhile, 14 new COVID-19 cases were reported in B.C., with the case count on Vancouver Island remaining at zero.

The total number of cases sits at 2,694, with 183 active cases in the province and 2,344 people who tested positive now fully recovered.

That’s a recovery rate of 87 per cent.

No new COVID-19 related deaths were reported for the sixth day in a row, with that total staying at 167.

Over 161,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the province thus far.