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 25, 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 24:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 142,347 (3,953 active cases)
• New cases since May 21: 974
• Total deaths: 1,679 (12 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 292
• Intensive care: 96
• Total vaccinations: 2,885,488 doses administered; 147,144 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 136,603
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 6

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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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

2 p.m. – House of Commons adopts Bloc motion against holding COVID-19 pandemic election

The House of Commons has adopted a Bloc Quebecois motion that says it would be irresponsible to hold a federal election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 327 MPs from all parties voting in favour of the motion, which says it is the government’s responsibility to do everything possible to avoid calling voters to the polls before the end of the pandemic.

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Ontario Independent MP Derek Sloan was the only one who voted against it.

The Liberals had attempted to amend the motion to say it is the responsibility of all parties to avoid a pandemic election, but the Bloc rejected that amendment.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been supporting the minority Liberal government on confidence votes, said earlier today that if the Liberals provoke an election, it would be because they want more power.

He said holding a federal election would come at the cost of Canadians, as COVID-19 cases are still rising in Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

– The Canadian Press

1 p.m. – Travel ban extended, indoor dining allowed under first step of four-part plan

British Columbians will not be allowed to travel recreationally within the province yet, but they can resume sports games and eat indoors in a restaurant under a four-part plan to gradually lift COVID-19 health restrictions, the B.C. government announced Tuesday.

Under the first step, which begins today, the non-essential travel ban between the three health regions will continue. As long as the case numbers continue to drop while vaccination rates go up, health officials say those restrictions will be lifted in the second step starting mid-June.

Health officials stressed that the re-opening steps will be subject to COVID-19 data and not just dates.

Under Step 1, sports teams, which have been restricted to drills and training, can now resume outdoor games and folks can eat indoors in bars and restaurants in groups of six.

However, they will will have to wait until mid-June to go to the movies or watch live theatre.

And while residents still can’t throw large parties, health officials are now allowing five visitors indoors for personal gatherings and a maximum of 10 people for seated indoor organized gatherings with safety protocols.

There will be indoor religious services allowed in Step 1 but with a limited capacity to be determined. And a gradual return to the workplace can begin.

Health officials are predicting a return to normal social activities by the fourth step in September.

Watch the press conference here:

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READ MORE:COVID-19: Five things you can and can’t do under Step 1 of B.C.’s reopening plan

12:15 p.m. – Downtown Vancouver party host fined $2,300 for loud and illegal gathering

Early Sunday, Vancouver police broke up a party in a suite at 1200 West Georgia Street. Initially, the host and the 16 partiers inside refused to open the door to police. Eventually, police obtained a search warrant and got inside.

“We have made it very clear that we will not tolerate incidents were people deliberately contravene the public health orders set out by the Province,” said VPD Const. Tania Visintin. “When someone blatantly ignores the law and puts others at risk of contracting COVID-19, we will use our legal avenues to hold them accountable.”

“The host of the party was issued a $2,300 violation ticket for hosting a non-compliant event. The other 16 party attendees were issued a $575 fine each for attending a non-compliant event,” Const. Visintin said. “Additionally, four speakers, a turntable and various cables were seized as evidence.”

More than $11,000 in fines were issued for violating the public health order that bans social gatherings inside a residence.

11:50 a.m. – Canadian COVID-19 hotspot Manitoba flies patients out as infections multiply

Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic hotspot Manitoba said on Tuesday it was planning to fly more critically ill COVID-19 patients to other provinces, as infections multiply.

A third wave reached Manitoba later than other provinces, which are now recording fewer daily cases and beginning to loosen public restrictions.

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But Manitoba’s rate of daily cases, 233 people per 100,000 during the past week, is highest in Canada and triple the national average, mainly due to the spread in the city of Winnipeg

The province has scrambled to more than double its intensive care unit capacity by canceling surgeries and occupying other spaces in hospitals.

Even those beds are filling up now and Manitoba has flown 18 critically ill COVID-19 patients to Ontario hospitals in the past few days, officials said. The provincial government is also talking with Saskatchewan and North Dakota officials about receiving patients, they said in a briefing. No other province has taken such steps.

Premier Brian Pallister attributed the spread to Manitobans disobeying public health orders.

A group of doctors, however, urged the Manitoba government to impose a stay-at-home order and close non-essential businesses.

— Canadian Press

8:45 a.m. – Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine found safe, effective in teens

Moderna says it will ask Canada to authorize its vaccine for kids between 12 and 17 years old after a study of its mRNA vaccine in teenagers shows it to be both safe and effective.

The Massachusetts-based vaccine maker says it will submit the study results to international regulators in early June.

The company says the study of 3,700 kids in that age group found no cases of COVID-19 among the kids who got two doses of the vaccine. The youth got the same size doses as adults, four weeks apart.

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The company says there were no serious safety issues, and the side-effects mirrored those seen in adults, with headache, fatigue, pain and chills the most commonly reported issues after the second dose.

More than two dozen countries, including Canada, have greenlighted the vaccine for use in adults, but thus far Pfizer-BioNTech is the only vaccine available in Canada for youth.

— Canadian Press

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 974 cases, 12 deaths on weekend

B.C. health officials reported 974 new cases of COVID-19 on the weekend and 12 additional deaths from the disease.

The numbers, recorded over three days, continue to show a downward trend in the province’s daily case load.

B.C. recorded 356 cases between Friday and Saturday, 325 between Saturday and Sunday, and 293 between Sunday and Monday, which marked the first sub-300 daily case total this year.

Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a total of 142,347 cases and 1,679 COVID-19 deaths.

12 a.m. – Variant B.1.617 from India is not taking over in B.C., latest data shows

Latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows the COVID-19 variant first identified in India (B.1.617) is not spreading wildly in the province.

The variant, responsible for COVID-19 devastation in India since it first appeared at the start of the year, was found in B.C. in early April.

In late April, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 39 cases had been identified in the province. At that point, the mutation of the original coronavirus was considered to be a variant of interest — meaning the World Health Organization was investigating whether it spread more easily or led to more sickness.

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On May 12, the WHO declared B.1.617 to be a variant of concern and the BCCDC began publishing cases. There are now four variants of concern in B.C. that account for 85 per cent of all new cases.

BCCDC data for the week May 9-15 (the most recent data available) showed 378 cases had been found, compared to 306 the week before.

The B.1.617 now makes up two per cent of all variant cases in B.C., compared to one per cent in the week May 2-8.

-David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Vast majority of families say long-term care homes did a good job, poll shows

A majority of family members were satisfied with how long-term care homes have operated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released today.

The poll was taken to get the views of family members closest to residents after Canadians were “very, very horrified” of stories coming out of long-term care homes over the past 15 months, said Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl.

About two-thirds of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada have occurred in long-term care homes.

The poll found that 39 per cent of those with loved ones in a long-term care home said the facilities handled the response to the pandemic as well as “could be expected” and 42 per cent said the homes performed “well enough overall.” The remaining 19 per cent said the long-term care homes had failed in their duties.

The 800 respondents also said it would be impossible to care for their aged relatives at home (31 per cent) or would need considerable help (45 per cent) to do that.

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-Susan Lazaruk


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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