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 June 18, 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.


As of the latest figures given on June 17:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,794 (1,451 active cases)
• New cases since June 16: 120
• Total deaths: 1,739 (1 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 131
• Intensive care: 44
• Total vaccinations: 4,231,871 doses administered; 768,008 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 143,579
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 3


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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.

9:30 a.m. – Fraser Health announces 32-hour “Vax-a-thon” on Saturday

Come for the party, stay for the vaccine.

Fraser Health is hosting its first 32-hour, all-night “Vax-a-thon” this weekend in Surrey at the COVID-19 immunization clinic at Guildford Recreation Centre.

The Vax-a-thon runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, with health officials providing 7,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.


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Fraser Health says those who attend will see live music and other physically-distanced entertainment while receiving their jab. They can also enter to win door prizes.

Starting at 8 p.m., there will be a “Mask-erade” so folks can don their fanciest masks or come as they for the nighttime immunization clinic.

After attendees receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, they can commemorate the moment by strolling down a red carpet and posing for a picture at a selfie station, said Fraser Health, in a news release Friday.

On Sunday, people can celebrate Father’s Day by receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are open to anyone 12 years and older for first dose COVID-19 immunization.

Staff are available on-site to help people register and book appointments at other clinics throughout the region if needed, and can help answer all vaccine-related questions.

8 a.m. – NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

When Gwenny Farrell booked her second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on the first day it became available, she said she believed she was doing the right thing.

The resident of White Rock said she has tried to follow every health protocol and recommendation strictly, so her confidence has been shaken by a new recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on mixing the vaccines.

On June 1, NACI had said AstraZeneca recipients “could” get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but on Thursday it went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the “preferred” choice.


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“I’m frustrated because now, after being told for months that the best vaccine is the first one that’s in your arm, I’m being told I may have made a mistake,” Farrell, 55, said.

The new recommendation is drawing mixed reaction from those who’ve already received two jabs of AstraZeneca. Farrell is not alone in her disappointment, while others say they remain happy with their choice because they know it still means they are well protected against COVID-19.

The committee’s guidance is based on the growing supply of mRNA vaccines, growing evidence that a second dose of an mRNA vaccine produces a stronger immune response, and because of the low but serious risk of vaccine-induced blood clots associated with AstraZeneca.

“People who received two doses of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine can rest assured that the vaccine provides good protection against infection and very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization,” NACI’s advice says.

The committee also updated its previous recommendation that people at high risk of exposure to, or serious illness from, COVID-19, could opt to get AstraZeneca rather than waiting for Pfizer or Moderna. Now NACI says everyone should always get the mRNA vaccines first, unless they are allergic to them.

-The Canadian Press

7 a.m. – Restrictions at U.S. border to remain in place until end of July, Blair says

Travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border will remain in place for at least another month.


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Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the American and Canadian governments are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel until July 21.

He adds in a tweet that the government will provide details on Monday about plans to let fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents enter the country.

The measures at the border have been in place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The pressure to relax the restrictions has been building from businesses on both sides of the border, and increasingly from American lawmakers as vaccination rates climb in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said that it would take 75 per cent of Canadians getting vaccinated before restrictions can be lifted.

To that threshold Trudeau has also added the caveat that the outbreak needs to be at a stage where minor flare-ups can handled without risk of spreading more broadly.

-The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – From first ministers to farmers, many pushing for Canada-U.S. border reopening plan

The manager of an American dairy with three locations near the Canada-U.S. border wants politicians to lay out a plan for reopening.

“Cows keep producing whether the border is open or not,” said Mitch Moorlag, general manager of Edaleen Dairy. “We need to know when demand (from Canadian customers) will come back so we can be ready.”

Moorlag, whose business is partly built on the concept of the cross-border milk run, isn’t the only one calling on Canada’s federal government to give some indication of when and how COVID-19-related restrictions will ease.


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The B.C. Premier’s Office confirmed the topic came up at a First Ministers’ meeting between the provincial premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

The feds have been deciding on a monthly basis whether to renew the restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border, with the current order due to expire Monday. While there isn’t consensus between the premiers on when the border should reopen to non-essential travel, many are pressing Ottawa to share its plan.

“There was unanimity among the provinces when we closed the border, but since then there has been a back-and-forth across Canada — north and south, east and west — on what is the best way forward,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said earlier this week.

Horgan raised the topic at Thursday’s meeting, sharing British Columbian’s views on the need for a safe reopening and more information on how it will proceed, including an early signal to the cruise ship industry.

The federal government has hinted that the reopening might not begin Monday, but the new order could outline a plan for a gradual reopening starting in July.

-Glenda Luymes

12 a.m. – One more death, 120 new cases and more supplies of Moderna expected next week

B.C. has vaccinated 76.5 per cent of all adults, according to health officials.

The province has administered 4,231,871 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 768,008 second doses, and 74.8 per cent of everyone 12 years of age and older have now received their first dose of vaccine.


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The province recorded 120 new cases on Thursday and one additional death of a person in their 80s, who died at the outbreak at Richmond Hospital.

There are three long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities affected.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that there will be “upcoming challenges” with the delivery of doses of Pfizer vaccine in early July, and supply will be reduced.

But B.C. will be receiving more Moderna shipments next week.

Following the NACI recommendation, Henry also assured the public that mixing and matching of the vaccines is safe and effective.

12 a.m. – mRNA vaccine now preferred as second dose after initial AstraZeneca shot: NACI 

Canada’s federal expert advisory panel on vaccines is now recommending people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first shot should get an mRNA vaccine for the second shot.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Pfizer or Moderna are “preferred” as the second dose based on growing evidence that a second mRNA shot produces a better immune response as well as to mitigate potential risk of blood clots that has been associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The committee also recommended those who receive a first dose of an mRNA vaccine should be offered the same product for their second dose. If that product is not available, another mRNA vaccine can be used to complete the two-dose series.

-David Carrigg



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Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


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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