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

The Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. says the province continues to invest too little in BC Parks, compared with public demand. (Special to The News)
Outdoor rec group decries parks funding

Golden Ears Park packed by record numbers of visitors

Community residents, businesses, and youth are all encouraged to complete economic development surveys. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge asks for community input on economic development

Three surveys available online will help shape strategy for years to come

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Schools in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows exposed to COVID-19

Davie Jones and Hammond elementary schools have confirmed cases

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock near Webster’s Corners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

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

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Most Read