B.C. reports under 400 COVID-19 cases, expands vaccination program to ages 12+

B.C. reports under 400 COVID-19 cases, expands vaccination program to ages 12+
Province of BC

British Columbia is reporting 357 new cases of COVID-19 for the entire province with three additional deaths in that span.

Of the 357 new cases, eight are linked to the Island Health region.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says that 331 are in hospital – a decrease of nine since May 19 – with 113 people in critical care as a result of the virus (a decrease of five). There are currently 4,636 active cases in British Columbia

Since Wednesday’s numbers, there have been 80 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 210 in the Fraser Health region, 12 in the Island Health region, 33 in the Interior Health region, 22 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There were three additional deaths related to the virus on Thursday. This brings the provincial death total over the course of the pandemic to 1,661.

Also as of Thursday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has reached 140,953.

Health officials also said, to date, 2,687,360 doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the province – which Dr. Henry says is a little over 58 per cent of all adults (18+) in British Columbia.

Vaccine bookings now include ages 12-17

The Province is currently allowing anyone who is 12 years old and up to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Dr. Henry noted that approximately 310,000 youth across the province between the ages of 12 and 17 can now register and book appointments — all of whom are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is currently performing trials and health officials are hoping it will be approved for use on youth in the near future.

“From celebrating important milestones in a different way, to changing the way you spend time with friends and extended family, I have seen how young people have made incredible sacrifices throughout this pandemic,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “I know you are keen to get back to your lives and registering and getting immunized is a big step toward this important goal.”

Parents, guardians and trusted adults are also able to register and book for young people, with booking invites being sent to those who are older first.

Young people accompanying adults to the adult’s new vaccine appointment can register on-site and do not need to be registered or booked in advance.

The Province also notes that most vaccine appointments for young people age 12 to 17 years will take place at the same immunization clinics used to vaccinate people in other age groups.

Long weekend reminder

B.C. Premier John Horgan also joined the routine Thursday update in order to remind British Columbians about the current restrictions in place for the long weekend.

“I’m here today…to talk directly to you to reinforce that there are public health orders in place, there are travel restrictions in place, not to the beginning of the long weekend, but to the end of the long weekend,” Horgan said during the live press conference.

The current restrictions are slated to end on Tuesday, May 25 and Horgan implied that a provincial restart plan will be delivered at that time.

“We’re all excited about a positive summer and a hopeful fall, but we’ve got to get there, we have to get there, and that means adhering to the restrictions that are in place today, tomorrow and throughout the weekend,” said Horgan.

Island Health

According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 121 active cases on Vancouver Island.

Of the active cases, 35 are on southern Vancouver Island, 53 on central Vancouver Island and 33 on northern Vancouver Island.

Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.

Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.

Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 4,950 cases.

Graham CoxGraham Cox
April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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