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Nelson sends cheers of support to frontline healthcare staff during COVID-19 pandemic

Firefighters at Nelson Fire and Rescue rolled the truck out of the Ward Street station to blast out the siren during what is becoming a nightly salute in the Heritage City to the frontline healthcare works during the COVID-19 pandemic. — The Nelson Daily photo

Residents of Nelson are joining in on what has been a daily salute around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 7 p.m., or most notably shift change at local hospitals, citizens step out onto their balconies and sidewalks and open their windows to applaud, cheer, yell and bang pots in a salute to the work being done by frontline healthcare workers.

Tuesday, at 7 p.m., cheers could be heard throughout the City of Nelson as citizens saluted healthcare workers.

Click To Watch video from Gyro Park in Nelson

The movement began in Italy, with Italians using music and balcony salutes for shift change during the start of the pandemic. 

The nightly ritual has also been picked up by those self-isolating across the world as well as many cities and municipalities in BC, including Vancouver, Nanaimo, Burnaby, New Westminster, Abbotsford and Langley.

Frontline medical workers, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic, have posted their own photos on social media urging Canadians to stay home, and showing the draining effects of hours strapped inside surgical masks.

Nelsonites were helped raise the volume Tuesday night by on-shift Nelson Police Department officers and Nelson Fire and Rescue firefighters who sounded vehicle sirens as well as the Catholic Church, which rang the church bell in a show of respect for healthcare workers.

Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer announced 43 new cases, raising the total for British Columbia to for a total of 1,013 cases.

Dr. Henry broke down the number of patients in each health region — 476 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 348 are in the Fraser Health region, 67 are in the Island Health region, 107 are in the Interior Health region and 15 are in the Northern Heath region.

Dr. Henry also said with sadness that there were five recorded deaths in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions in the last 24 hours, for a total of 24 COVID-19 related deaths in British Columbia.

Tuesday, Premier John Horgan also said the B.C. government formally extended the provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the end of the day on April 14, 2020.