COVID-19 update for May 22: Outbreak at Richmond Hospital | 420 cases, six additional deaths, decline in hospitalizations

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 22, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on May 21:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 141,373 (4,507 active cases)
• New cases since May 19: 420
• Total deaths: 1,667 (6 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 319
• Intensive care: 107
• Total vaccinations: 2,744,020 doses administered; 142,406 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 135,068
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 5


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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


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COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


5 a.m. – Outbreak declared at Richmond Hospital

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Richmond Hospital on unit 4 North (acute care for the elderly unit) after seven patients tested positive for COVID-19.

Vancouver Coastal Health says the unit is closed to new admissions and transfers at this time.

All non-essential visits to unit 4 North at Richmond Hospital have been suspended until the outbreak measures have been lifted, except for essential care or compassionate visits at the end of life.

5 a.m. –Public health evaluating how, when Canada can allow fully vaccinated travellers: Tam

Federal health officials are re-evaluating what has to happen before Canada can allow fully vaccinated people to enter the country or entirely reopen the border to international travellers, says chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.


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Tam was among federal officials from Health Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency appearing at an emergency meeting of the House of Commons health committee Friday, which focused heavily on when the 14-month-long border closure will finally come to an end.

Tam said it’s not just about deciding what fully immunized people can do, it’s also about Canada’s own pandemic situation, including vaccine coverage at home, case rates and hospital capacity, and the fact there is no standard yet for proving that you are, in fact, fully vaccinated.

“We’re very actively examining the policies related to vaccinated travellers or fully vaccinated travel,” she said at the three-hour-long committee hearing.

“I do think that Canada is probably on a good trajectory in terms of its epidemiology and our own vaccination coverage and so I do think that between now and moving toward the fall, we would expect some shifts in that policy.”

-The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – B.C. should proceed cautiously on restart plans: Experts

Don’t expect a major easing of COVID-19 restrictions right away in the province’s restart plan, which is to be announced Tuesday by the B.C. government.

Experts say the provincial government is likely to, and should, take a cautious approach, doing as Premier John Horgan indicated Thursday, possibly starting with rolling back the “circuit breaker” restrictions put in place at the end of March when coronavirus cases were surging.


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But a key to wider easing of restrictions, which include prohibitions on indoor gatherings and requirements to wear masks in indoor public spaces, will be tied to the continued vaccination of British Columbians, say experts.

Sarah Otto, a University of B.C. epidemiologist who is part of an independent COVID-19 modelling group in B.C., said her group’s latest projections show the province could begin to ease restrictions put in place in March.

“So, that is obviously not a full reopening,” said Otto, a zoologist who specializes in mathematical modelling. “But it includes, potentially going back to some indoor restaurant activities and some ability to meet indoors with a small group of people outside of your household.”

The message continues to be that outdoor activities are safer, said Otto.

— Gordon Hoekstra

12 a.m. –  420 cases, six additional deaths, decline in hospitalizations

As B.C. prepares for the May long weekend, health officials reported 420 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

Six more people have died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,667 deaths.

Out of the 4,507 active cases, 319 people are in hospital, including 107 in intensive care.


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

– With files from The Canadian Press


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