Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 24, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on May 21:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 141,373 (4,507 active cases)
• New cases since May 19: 420
• Total deaths: 1,667 (6 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 319
• Intensive care: 107
• Total vaccinations: 2,744,020 doses administered; 142,406 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 135,068
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 5

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

8:15 a.m. –  ‘So far, so good’: B.C. COVID-19 vaccination numbers steady across ages, expert says

British Columbia’s younger residents appear to be getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at rates similar to their older counterparts, a phenomenon that bucks trends seen in other provinces and fills at least one medical expert with optimism for the eventual success of the province’s immunization campaign.

Data from the Ministry of Health shows more than 63 per cent of eligible residents between the ages of 18 to 79 had registered to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as of May 18, the last date for which figures were available.

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The data comes as a breath of fresh air for Dr. Matthew Chow, president of the Doctors of B.C., which represents thousands of physicians in the province.

He said unlike other provinces and territories, B.C. isn’t seeing a typical drop in registration in younger age groups.

“When you look out to other jurisdictions, as you start to decrease the age cohort … you do tend to see fewer people uptaking the vaccine ,” Chow said in an interview. “But in B.C., so far so good.”

Data as of May 18 shows more than 58 per cent of eligible residents in the 18-24 and 25-29 age groups have registered for a vaccine, with that figure climbing above 60 per cent for those aged 30-34 and 35-39.

– The Canadian Press

8 a.m. – Reopening B.C.: Here are the COVID-19 restrictions that may (or may not) be lifted on Tuesday

Last month, as all key COVID-19 metrics were headed in the wrong direction, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry began to impose disease “circuit breakers” on British Columbians — on top of restrictions that were already in place.

The seven-day average daily case count was over 1,100 and the number of active cases was more than 10,000 while there was a jump in people going to hospital with COVID-19 and ending up in intensive care — B.C. was in the grips of a third wave of the disease.

Henry said most of those additional restrictions would be in place until at least Tuesday May 25 (the day after the Victoria Day long weekend).

This past Thursday, Premier John Horgan said “circuit breaker” restrictions would be lifted on Tuesday — the same day he will lay out a plan for the gradual lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions in B.C. — but he was not specific.

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Reporter David Carrigg takes a look at which restrictions may lift on Tuesday, and which ones will probably stay in place.

Read more HERE.

8 a.m. – COVID pandemic corroded Canadians’ trust in politicians 

The COVID-19 pandemic has eroded Canadians trust in their governments, public health officials, science and even neighbours, according to a new poll commissioned by Postmedia.

The Leger survey also revealed that more than half of Canadians feel the federal government’s border measures have been ineffective. An overwhelming 72 per cent of Canadians want the government’s three-day mandatory hotel quarantine for air travellers extended to people crossing by land. And 63 per cent of people say travellers ignoring the mandatory quarantine should face stiffer penalties, including jail time.

The Leger polling firm conducted the survey with its online panel last week asking 1,516 Canadians whether the pandemic had caused them to lose trust in civic institutions.

When people were asked if the pandemic had permanently eroded their trust in provincial or federal governments more than 60 per cent said it had eroded their trust, either a little or a lot, in both the federal government (63%) or their provincial government (62%).

– Postmedia

8 a.m. – ‘Sad and disappointed’: COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Alberta-US border cancelled

A feel-good story in which a Montana First Nation was holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Canada-United States border in southwestern Alberta has come to an end.

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The Blackfeet Tribe, 150 kilometres south of Lethbridge, began offering shots of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna at the Carway border crossing a month ago. Initially it was being offered to members of the Blackfoot Confederacy, but it was later opened up to anyone who wanted it.

The proposal received approval from the tribal administration and both the Canadian and United States governments to set up the mobile clinic on the U.S. side of the border.

Canadians who attended the clinic were given exemptions from having to quarantine for 14 days. They lined up in their cars, drove through a loop, received their shots through the window, were monitored for 15 minutes and went home.

But an official with the Blackfeet Tribe in Browning, Mont., told The Canadian Press late Saturday that the clinics have come to an end.

“I am very sad and disappointed to report that we are not to able to continue our border vaccine clinics because of government bureaucracy on both sides. Apparently crossing the border to receive a vaccine is non-essential. Go figure,” said James McNeely.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said last week Canadians attempting to drive across the American border solely for a COVID-19 vaccination, even with a doctor’s referral, would be denied entry.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also clarified that any Canadians travelling to the United States for the purpose of getting the vaccine are not exempted from a 14 day quarantine on their return and that vaccines are now “widely available” here.

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– Canadian Press

SUNDAY

1 p.m. –  India cases lowest in more than a month

India’s new coronavirus cases continued to slow with a daily total of 240,842 on Sunday, the lowest in more than a month.

Meanwhile, Delhi, India’s capital, extended its lockdown until May 31 as it halted vaccinations of people age 18 to 44 due to a shortage of jabs.

India and scores of other World Trade Organization members made a fresh appeal for a three-year patent waiver on products and technology used in the treatment of COVID-19, the Economic Times reported.

12 p.m. – More than half of Canadians have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Canada’s race toward widespread COVID-19 immunity reached a milestone on Saturday, as numbers showed half the national population has received at least one dose of vaccine meant to protect against the virus.

The news came hours after the country’s top vaccine advisors issued further guidance on second doses, potentially clearing the way to mix and match shots of the same overall type.

Data compiled from federal, provincial and territorial health authorities showed more than 20.6 million doses have been injected across the country as of Saturday, with 50.01 per cent of the population getting at least one jab.

Canada edged ahead of the United States in its proportion of inoculations on Thursday, when just over 48 per cent of Americans had received their first dose.

Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist with the University of Ottawa, said the 50-per-cent threshold represents an important marker for Canada, adding such a visible sign of progress stands to offer Canadians a much-needed psychological boost.

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“It is a milestone,” Deonandan said. “It’s like: Hey, we as a society have passed an important point in this marathon and we can almost see the finish line. And even though we’re all tired, we’re going to sprint to the end together.”

Nonetheless, Canada remains far back of the pack in the full-vaccination race, with about four per cent of Canadians fully immunized, according to Health Canada.

– The Canadian Press


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

– With files from The Canadian Press

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