What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for May 31

·4 min read
Diners are pictured eating at Yolks restaurant in Vancouver on May 25, the first day indoor dining was allowed after B.C.'s COVID-19 'circuit breaker' measures began in March. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Diners are pictured eating at Yolks restaurant in Vancouver on May 25, the first day indoor dining was allowed after B.C.'s COVID-19 'circuit breaker' measures began in March. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

THE LATEST:

  • Since Friday, B.C. has confirmed 708 new cases and 11 more deaths.

  • A total of 249 people are in hospital with the disease, with 78 in intensive care.

  • The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 1,703.

  • So far, 3,250,161 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 179,954 second doses.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that another 708 cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths have been confirmed in the last three days.

There are now 249 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care — the lowest number of patients in hospital since March 9. The rolling seven-day average of cases is now at its lowest level since Oct. 31.

The number of active cases has also fallen, hitting its lowest level since Nov. 2 at 2,953.

But Henry urged everyone to stay cautious, as the vast majority of British Columbians still need a second dose of vaccine.

"New strains are circulating and outbreaks are still occurring in schools, in hospitals, in long-term care and in our communities," she said.

A total of 3,250,116 doses of vaccine have now been administered across B.C., including 179,954 second doses. The latest numbers mean that 69.7 per cent of adults have received a shot so far.

Outbreaks persist

On Monday, Fraser Health announced an outbreak at an independent school in Surrey, B.C. A statement said Iqra Islamic School closed voluntarily on Friday after 21 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among students and staff. The school enrols roughly 450 students from kindergarten to Grade 7, according to its website.

The health authority is continuing to monitor a separate outbreak at Brookside Lodge, a long-term care facility in Surrey where one resident and a staff member had tested positive as of Friday.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) said Saturday two patients and two staff tested positive for COVID-19 at Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport, a long-term care home in Richmond. The same day, the authority said an outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital was over.

A total of 36 people, including five staff, tested positive for COVID-19 during the outbreak. Seven individuals died, all of whom had been patients.

Getting vaccinated

B.C. health officials announced Thursday most people in the province will be able to receive a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within eight weeks of their first. The province is still setting 16 weeks as the maximum interval between doses.

Second doses are now being administered to long-term care home residents and staff.

Nurse Melissa Townsend, right, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Rowena Cando as her husband Israel Cando sits in the driver's seat of a vehicle at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
Nurse Melissa Townsend, right, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Rowena Cando as her husband Israel Cando sits in the driver's seat of a vehicle at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Anyone who received their vaccine before April 15 and was not registered with the province's online vaccine registration system should register now to receive an email or text notification of their second dose appointment.

Registration can be done online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in person at any Service B.C. location.

Stay safe

The province has laid out a four-step reopening plan that could see people socializing normally again as early as September.

As of now, residents can once again dine indoors, hit the gym for low-intensity workouts, play outdoor sports and hold faith-based gatherings in person.

Masks and physical distancing measures remain mandatory. Recreational travel is allowed, but still only within the province's three regional health zones.

Read more:

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Sunday, Canada had reported 1,376,734 cases of COVID-19, with a 33 per cent decrease in active cases from the week before.

A total of 25,477 people have died of the disease.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.

  • Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.