VANCOUVER -- A meteorologist with Environment Canada says a thick haze blanketing parts of B.C. from wildfires in Washington and Oregon could stick around until Monday.

Armel Castellan says the air pollution is posing high health risks, especially for people with respiratory health issues, including COVID-19.

Sunday saw a continuation of the Metro Vancouver weather and fine particulate matter advisory that has been in place since Sep. 8.

The advisory covers Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District.

“Wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon continues to pass through the region, and is expected to continue to impact air quality today. The dense smoke is forecast to begin clearing late this evening and into tomorrow,” reads the Metro Vancouver statement.

Castellan says anyone planning strenuous activities outside should reschedule them and that children, the elderly and pregnant people should also avoid spending time outdoors.

The heavy smoke comes at the tail end of summer, and after a week of high temperatures. It also comes amid the global coronavirus pandemic and mounting cases of COVID-19 infections in B.C.

Castellan also advises that the poor air quality in Vancouver has been on par with other major cities on the west coast, including Portland and San Francisco.

With files from The Canadian Press.