1,316 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday; 126 in Interior Health | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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1,316 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday; 126 in Interior Health

Dr. Bonnie Henry, May 17, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
May 17, 2021 - 3:47 PM

B.C.'s COVID-19 case numbers are on a notable decline as vaccination rates ramp up, but don't expect to see any changes to the province's social restrictions the moment the long weekend ends.

"I know that for many people May long weekend is often the unofficial kickoff to summer and I know that we are all looking forward to this summer being different," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, May 17.

"But we are not yet ready to make any changes to our current provincial health orders this week. This means this long weekend, it is important for all of us to stay the course."

It takes some time for immune systems to ramp up post-COVID-19 vaccination and still there are 400 to 500 people a day testing positive for the disease.

"That reminds us that the virus continues to circulate, and we have to do all we can to stop those transmissions, as we're all developing this protection," she said. 

Once more people reach the peak immunity at three weeks, and community transmission rates change, Dr. Henry said that will be time to reassess.

"Everything that we're doing right now is going to make a difference for our summer," she said.

"I don't think anybody wants to see a surge in cases in two weeks. That would just set us back again, and we don't need to do that, we need to keep moving forward."

More than 55% of people 18 and over in B.C have had their first COVID-19 shot now and Dr. Henry said their protection levels are going up as time marches along. They've also given 130,023-second doses, which is about a 3% increase.

"Our rates of immunization in healthcare workers are in the high 80s and 90s across the board. In physicians, I saw some data this weekend and... 95 to 96% of physicians in the province have been immunized. Take your cue from them, they know a good thing when they see it. So, this is the time where we need to spread that word, that this will protect you. It means you can get back to work, it means you can get back to socializing. Immunization is what is going to get us out of this pandemic."

From Friday to Saturday B.C. had 443 new cases, Saturday to Sunday an additional 493 cases, and in the last 24 hours an additional 424 new cases for a total of 1,316.

The total number of cases in B.C is now 139,664.

There are currently have 5,021 active cases across the province and 350 people are in hospital, with 132 of whom in critical care ICU.

The height of hospitalizations was in April, when there were 511 hospitalized.

There were also 14 deaths, one of which was a person in their 40s and one was in their 50s. There was no information offered if there were complicating factors.


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