B.C.'s first community COVID-19 death was dentist 'dedicated' to health: lawyer

VANCOUVER — A lawyer for the family of a North Vancouver dentist who died at home with COVID-19 says he was a dedicated health care professional who made patient care and safety his top priority.

Bettyanne Brownlee says Dr. Denis Vincent was British Columbia's first community death from the novel coronavirus.

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Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference, which drew about 15,000 people.

Brownlee says in a statement that Vincent was diligent in adhering to recommended practices for infection control throughout his more than 40-year career.

He was quarantining himself when he died.

She says he cared deeply about people, had a great sense of humour, and his two great loves were skiing and sailing with friends and family.

"He was enormously proud of his sons, who will keep their memories close as they come to terms with the absence of their father from their adult lives," Brownlee says.

Her statement says Vancouver Coastal Health assessed the potential for transmission at Vincent's office after he contacted the health authority and it found no risk to patients.

The BC Coroners Service confirmed the death in the community related to COVID-19 following post-mortem testing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2020.

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