B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

B.C. public health officials reported 443 new COVID-19 in the 24 hours up to Saturday, 424 up to Sunday and 424 on Monday, the fourth day in a row with fewer than 500 new cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 14 additional deaths over the weekend. The number of people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions declined from 387 on Friday to 350 as of Monday, with 132 in intensive care.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix warned that while infections are declining, the pressure on hospitals continues to be significant. There are 128 additional “surge beds” in use to treat COVID-19 patients, and 14 critical care surge beds reserved to response to the pandemic, Dix said May 17.

Henry said the restrictions on non-essential travel and indoor dining will stay in place until after the May 24 long weekend, and are being reviewed. “After this we will be able to move on and move ahead,” Henry said.

The vaccine program delivered more than 28,000 doses on Sunday, as the network of community clinics opened up bookings to all adults aged 18 as of Monday. There are also targeted clinics in Surrey, one of the high-risk areas. Of the 1,360 weekend cases, 861 were confirmed in the Fraser Health region, 291 in Vancouver Coastal, 126 in Interior Health, 47 in Northern Health and 36 on Vancouver Island over the three days.

Henry said B.C. has reserved 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for second doses for people who received it the first time, and the timing for offering second doses is being considered. She said studies from the United Kingdom and elsewhere show protection from a single dose continues to increase for up to 12 weeks, and the AstraZeneca on hand in B.C. can be stored up to the end of June for further applications.

“We know that it works better if you wait a little bit longer,” Henry said.

RELATED: B.C. prepare ‘Restart 2.0’ as COVID-19 infections decline

RELATED: Medical experts track fast-changing results on COVID-19


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

A Baker Creek tour from 2019 with a group of students - tours will be much smaller in 2020 due to COVID-19 prevention measures. (Submitted Photo)
Baker Creek Nature Explorers plans for full summer in Quesnel

The day program will run twice a week for two age groups

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for the Cariboo north including Quesnel. (Black Press file image)
Environment Canada issues thunderstorm watch for Quesnel

A chance of thundershowers is forcasted to last until Tuesday

The Gold Pan Grannies attended the Quesnel Farmers’ Market where they sold perennials and vegetable plants and fruit trees by donation Saturday, May 29. They were able to raise $1,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Gold Pan Grannies raise $1,000 for Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

Annual plant sale at Quesnel Farmers’ Market a success

Amy Vardy is one of four dancers to compete in their final year of the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts. (Submitted Photo)
Quesnel Festival of the Arts graduating dancer profile: Amy Vardy

The Quesnel Festival of the Performing arts is honouring their graduating dancers

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Predictions of climate variability and effects on agriculture

Oliver Rujanschi, we will miss you and the warmth that you were. Sorry friend

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read