Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)

B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

B.C. public health officials confirmed 596 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours up to Saturday, 605 up to Sunday and 558 up to Monday, continuing a slow decline in coronavirus spread continuing since a peak in March and April.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported Monday that 20 more people have died in the past three days, mostly aged 70 and older. Two people in their 40s and two in their 50s also died of COVID-19 since Friday.

The latest totals leave B.C. with 6,140 active cases and 415 people in hospital, 150 of them in intensive care. That’s down from more than 500 people in hospital in recent days, prompting the health ministry to postpone scheduled surgeries in Lower Mainland hospital for a second time since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

With more than two million vaccination doses administered in B.C. and shipments increasing, Henry said the goal of relieving pandemic restrictions is coming closer. Current essential-only travel orders between the Lower Mainland and other B.C. regions are to extend for another two weeks at least.

“We are moving in the right direction, but as you can see by today’s numbers, COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities,” Henry said May 10. “Immunization is going to get us there, but we are not yet at the point where we can ease up on our restrictions.”

Another priority is lifting the ban on indoor dining at restaurants, as more people are vaccinated and have had time to develop immunity, Henry said.

RELATED: Canada expects 2 million doses of Pfizer vaccine this week

RELATED: Britain emerging from pandemic with mostly single doses

With the age-based vaccination program offering appointments to people aged 40 and older starting this week, additional clinics are being set up in areas of high transmission areas, mostly in the Lower Mainland and also in Summerland, the Kelowna suburb of Rutland and Golden in Southeastern B.C.

Workplace outbreaks are also being targeted with vaccination. Henry noted Monday that there has been a new outbreak at Sunrise Poultry’s plant in Surrey.

In the health care system, outbreaks have been declared over in an acute care area at Surrey Memorial Hospital and at Dufferin Care Centre, a senior home in Coquitlam. There are currently three active outbreaks in B.C. senior care facilities, which have seen greater protection from vaccine and the return to social visitors for seniors who were isolated for much of the past year.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

A 58-year-old B.C. woman says she was attacked by a deer while out walking her dog last week. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Deer attack in southeastern B.C. leaves woman cut, battered and bruised

Liz Royer says she was out for a run last week when the deer appeared out of a bush and charged

Most Read