VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Another 20 lives were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. over the weekend, with daily case counts staying relatively steady.
Of the 20 people who died, 15 were seniors aged 70 or older. Two people in their 50s and two in their 40s also died of the illness.
“People passed away in every health authority in the province,” B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said. “Eight in Fraser Health, five in Interior Health, one in Vancouver Island health, one in Northern Health, and five in Vancouver Coastal Health.”
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The province recorded 1,759 cases over the weekend, for an average of fewer than 600 per day. More than two thirds of the new cases were in the Fraser Health Authority. While the average number of cases per day is showing signs of decline, Henry says hospitalizations remain high, and restrictions will not be lifted until those numbers go down.
There are currently 415 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 150 of whom are in intensive care.
As B.C.’s vaccination program marches on, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that 2,159,103 doses have been administered so far, 106,058 of which are second doses.
Dix says B.C. is expecting to receive nearly a million more doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines combined by the end of May.
Related article: What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccinations in B.C.
The province is currently contacting people aged 43 and up who have registered for the age-based program to book vaccination appointments. It is expected to expand to people aged 40 and up on Tuesday.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says even though almost 2.4-million people are registered to get immunized, some who thought they were already in the system may not be.
“Our registration system has names,but not contact information necessarily, so we are doing outreach. A lot of people in long-term care and many of the First Nations communities that had immunization by communities, you will be contacted,” she says.
“We’re going back into long-term care homes and providing second doses. Those things have started now as we reach that point. We started it at 13 weeks versus 16 weeks to make sure that we can get those second doses prior to 16 weeks.”
Henry says anyone who has not registered to get their second shot should do so as soon as possible.
Vaccines in high-transmission neighbourhoods
Special clinics have been set up in communities that have been deemed high risk. Residents of these neighbourhoods who are 30 or older (born in 1991 or earlier) can register to get the shot.
In Vancouver, the following have been identified as “high-transmission neighbourhoods:”
- Cedar Cottage,
- Grandview Woodland,
- Hastings Sunrise
- Victoria Fraserview
In the Fraser Health Region, residents of the following areas are eligible:
- Abbotsford Rural
- Burnaby Southeast
- Burnaby Southwest
- Central Abbotsford
- East Abbotsford
- East Newton
- North Delta
- North Surrey
- Port Coquitlam
- South Langley Township
- South Mission
- West Abbotsford
- West Newton
Other communities in Vancouver Coastal Health:
- Brittania Beach
- Pinecrest Estates
In the Interior and Northern Health Regions, adults either over 18 or over 30 are also being prioritized:
- Dawson Creek (18+)
- Fort Nelson Population Centre (18+)
- Fort St. John (18+)
- Fort St. James North (18+)
- Golden (18+)
- Rutland (30+)
- Summerland (30+)