Delta police are urging residents to check up on their loved ones during the ongoing heat wave after seeing a surge in sudden deaths in the past 24 hours.
In post to the department’s social media accounts Tuesday afternoon (June 29), the DPD said it is dealing with nine sudden or recently discovered deaths reported between Monday morning and Tuesday morning. Police in Delta typically respond to five to seven such calls in a given month, according to statistics from the past five years.
“Police urge people to check on their loved ones, elderly neighbours, those with health issues, and anyone who might be struggling to cope in the prolonged heat wave,” the department said.
On Tuesday afternoon, B.C.’s chief coroner Lisa Lapointe confirmed a “significant increase” in reported deaths where the extreme heat may have been a contributing factor.
Lapointe said the Coroners Service normally receives around 130 reports of death over a four-day period.
From Friday, June 25 through to 3 p.m. on Monday, June 28, at least 233 deaths were reported.
“This number will increase as data continues to be updated,” Lapointe said.
“Environmental heat exposure can lead to severe or fatal results, particularly in older people, infants and young children and those with chronic illnesses,” she said.
“It is important that people are mindful of these risks and follow the guidelines shared last week by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, including to drink plenty of fluids, keep cool by finding an air-conditioned building or seeking out the shade and, most importantly, regularly checking on loved ones and neighbours.”
On Friday, the City of Delta began operating cooling centres at all three libraries and several recreation centres. The facilities are open to anyone who is seeking some air conditioning and water to help them beat the heat.
North Delta’s George Mackie Library, Ladner Pioneer Library and Tsawwassen Library will all be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through to Thursday.
The city has not posted updated cooling centre hours for Tuesday onward, however the “Monday” hours are from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for North Delta Recreation Centre, and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for Sungod Recreation Centre.
Other recreation centres operating as cooling centres include Winskill Aquatic and Fitness Centre (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and South Delta Recreation Centre (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the main building, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. for the arena). As with the North Delta facilities, all hours are listed as for “Monday” on the city’s website.
The website also lists the Ladner Leisure Centre as a cooling centre, however it says the facility is closed for “operational maintenance.”