B.C. public health officials recorded their fifth straight day with fewer than 500 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, with 411 new cases, 360 people in hospital and two additional deaths in the past 24 hours.
“Since we last reported, we have had 37 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 285 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 12 in the Island Health region, 69 in the Interior Health region, eight in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement May 18.
B.C. reported 443 new COVID-19 up to Saturday, 424 up to Sunday and 424 on Monday, as the province’s daily cases declined below 500 for the first time since late February.
B.C.’s immunization program has opened to all adults 18 and older, along with first responder and worker vaccination clinics, arranged by regional health authorities at work sites. Two community drop-in clinics are being held in Surrey and in 19 high-risk communities in the Fraser Health region, as well as in Golden, Rutland and Summerland in Interior Health, and four northeast B.C. communities. For high-risk community eligibility, people should register and book online here.
We invite everyone in BC who is 18 or older to join the team, the more than 2.5 million strong💪 who have received their vaccine or have booked their appointment for the coming days: https://t.co/HxTDwKaPph
The more people who get vaccinated, the safer we all are.
— Adrian Dix (@adriandix) May 18, 2021
Premier John Horgan confirmed Tuesday that the B.C. government is preparing an announcement next week for a phased return to recreational travel and indoor dining. It will lay out a timeline for what provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has termed “Restart 2.0” after the current “circuit breaker” restrictions are lifted, some time after May long weekend.
“But I want to stress for people that we set the May long weekend as a target for the circuit breaker because we need to make sure we reduce cases, we see hospitalizations go down and we increase our vaccinations,” Horgan said May 18.