VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver-area dentist who attended a convention in the city earlier this month has died.

The dentist had spent time at the Pacific Dental Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

CTV News has confirmed the dentist was Denis Vincent, who had been at his practice on East 15th Street in North Vancouver for three decades.

He's been described by those who knew him as generous and a good person.

Christine Hellard, who worked with him as a temporary dental assistant a few years back, told CTV News: "He was really nice and I could tell he had a good long-standing relationship with his patients."

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, B.C.'s public health officer told media the dentist was known to officials, and confirmed his tie to the dental conference.

"This conference is a major source of some of the infections that we've been seeing in B.C.," Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

"There are now up to 32 people that we can link directly or indirectly to that conference."

Henry said the public health investigation had been completed, and that his close contacts had been notified and put in isolation.

Anyone who was at risk of exposure from him was identified, she said.

"It is tragic that he passed away," Henry said, adding that the coroner is investigating the case.

Earlier in March, health officials warned that those who'd been at the conference between March 5 and 7 may have been exposed to novel coronavirus.

Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed at the time that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 had been at the conference between 2 and 4 p.m. on March 6.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko