What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for May 10

·4 min read
Essential workers line up outside the Vancouver Convention Centre during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on May 7.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Essential workers line up outside the Vancouver Convention Centre during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on May 7. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

THE LATEST:

  • B.C. recorded 1,769 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days.

  • 20 people have died of the novel coronavirus since Friday.

  • Health officials say 415 people are in hospital, 150 of whom are in intensive care.

  • As of Monday afternoon, there are 6,140 active cases in B.C.

  • More than 45 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received at least one vaccine dose.

Health officials in B.C. are encouraging residents to stay the course and follow public health guidelines as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high, but continue to decrease across the province.

The number of patients in hospital has dropped by 6.7 per cent since Friday. An average of 586 new cases were recorded over each of the past three days, continuing a downward trend.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who announced a "circuit breaker"-style lockdown on indoor activities on March 29, says the measures are working to limit the spread of the disease in the province.

British Columbians are also not permitted to travel outside three regional zones, under an order in effect until the end of the May 24 long weekend. Information on whether those restrictions will be lifted is expected in coming weeks.

"As the number of people being immunized increase and our immunity catches up after several weeks, we will be able to start thinking about our post pandemic future," Henry said Monday.

Mounties in British Columbia have set up checkpoints at various locations on the province's highways, but say that, so far, no vehicles have been forced to turn around and no fines have been handed out.

"The idea is not to fine people, the idea is that people not take part in non-essential travel right now," B.C. health minister Adrian Dix said Monday during a press conference.

Hot spots

While the rolling average of new cases in B.C. continues to decline, certain neighbourhoods across B.C are still experiencing high rates of transmission, especially in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.

Over the weekend Fraser Health officials declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry processing plant in Surrey, B.C.

Officials said in a news release that 29 staff at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. have tested positive for the virus, and the facility has been ordered to close for 10 days beginning Friday.

There have been no reported cases of food or its packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and there is no recall of chicken products distributed from the plant.

Vaccinations going fast

As of Monday, 2,159,103 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, with 106,058 of those being second doses.

The province says 2 million people who are eligible have received at least one dose.

Public health officials encouraged anyone who is eligible to register to receive their vaccine, and said anyone who received a vaccine early on in the immunization program, before the online registration was up and running, should now register online to ensure their information is recorded and that they will be contacted for a second dose.

Currently, anyone 18 and older in British Columbia can register for their vaccination now if they have not already done so. This can be done online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in person at any Service B.C. location.

Starting Monday night, British Columbians born in 1981 or earlier will be able to book a vaccination appointment.

Health authorities have said at least 60 to 70 per cent of the total population should be immunized to achieve herd immunity.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Sunday, Canada has reported 1,286,666 cases of COVID-19, with a five per cent decrease in active cases from the week before.

A total of 24,625 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.