B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 pandemic situation at the B.C. legislature, May 17, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 pandemic situation at the B.C. legislature, May 17, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

B.C.’s COVID-19 infection decline continues, 11 deaths on weekend

258 new cases Friday, 238 Saturday, 212 as of Monday

B.C. public health officials reported a continued decline in COVID-19 infections Monday, as the vaccination program continues to reach more people.

There were 258 new coronavirus cases recorded Saturday, 238 as of Sunday and 212 on Monday, with local travel and indoor dining allowed for the second week. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said caution is still in order, as the incubation period for people exposed during the Victoria Day long weekend would begin showing up as new cases around this time.

Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that as of May 31, there are 249 people in hospital with COVID-19, down from the high in April of 515, and 78 people in intensive care, down from the high of 183. There were 11 deaths related to the virus since Friday.

The pattern of new infections continued over the weekend, with 394 of the 708 new cases since Friday identified in the Fraser Health region. There were 140 new cases in Vancouver Coastal, 113 in Interior Health, 42 in Northern Health and 18 on Vancouver Island.

Dix said more than 381,000 appointments have been booked for second doses of vaccine, after the increasing supply allowed the province to shorten the interval between shots from 16 weeks to eight starting last week. With children aged 12 and up eligible, B.C. has reached 66 per cent of the province’s population with at least one dose.

Community clinics for second doses where entire populations got a first dose are continuing to open this week, and Henry said an update is coming Thursday for people whose first dose was AstraZeneca vaccine. She said they will be offered a choice for second doses, as studies continue to show positive results of using two different types of vaccine.

Henry reminded people who received a first dose, especially before April 15, to register for a second dose at the provincial website at any time or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week. If they have already registered they will be notified of that and booking of second dose appointments will proceed.

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