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

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read