COVID-19 update for May 25: B.C. government to announce plan to ease restrictions | 974 new cases, 12 deaths on weekend | Data show B.1.617 variant not spreading wildly in the province.

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 24, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on May 24:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 142,347 (3,953 active cases)
• New cases since May 21: 974
• Total deaths: 1,679 (12 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 292
• Intensive care: 96
• Total vaccinations: 2,885,488 doses administered; 147,144 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 136,603
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 6

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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

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


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

1 p.m. – B.C. government set to announce plan to lift some restrictions

A plan to be announced today will start to get life and the economy back to normal in B.C. with the methodical lifting of COVID-19 health restrictions.

Premier John Horgan said last week the restart will set the course for a future direction as COVID-19 cases decline and more
people receive vaccinations, but it will take time to reach the final destination.

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The province had been entering Phase 3 of its restart plan when case counts climbed to new highs in March, forcing a stop of indoor dining, adult group fitness and non-essential travel outside health authorities, while health officials also backtracked on allowing in-person religious services.

Horgan said the plans involve the gradual lifting of health restrictions and by July the province will be in a much better place.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the restart plan will take a measured approach as opposed to an immediate, full-scale reopening.

-The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 974 cases, 12 deaths on weekend

B.C. health officials reported 974 new cases of COVID-19 on the weekend and 12 additional deaths from the disease.

The numbers, recorded over three days, continue to show a downward trend in the province’s daily case load.

B.C. recorded 356 cases between Friday and Saturday, 325 between Saturday and Sunday, and 293 between Sunday and Monday, which marked the first sub-300 daily case total this year.

Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a total of 142,347 cases and 1,679 COVID-19 deaths.

12 a.m. – Variant B.1.617 from India is not taking over in B.C., latest data shows

Latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows the COVID-19 variant first identified in India (B.1.617) is not spreading wildly in the province.

The variant, responsible for COVID-19 devastation in India since it first appeared at the start of the year, was found in B.C. in early April.

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In late April, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 39 cases had been identified in the province. At that point, the mutation of the original coronavirus was considered to be a variant of interest — meaning the World Health Organization was investigating whether it spread more easily or led to more sickness.

On May 12, the WHO declared B.1.617 to be a variant of concern and the BCCDC began publishing cases. There are now four variants of concern in B.C. that account for 85 per cent of all new cases.

BCCDC data for the week May 9-15 (the most recent data available) showed 378 cases had been found, compared to 306 the week before.

The B.1.617 now makes up two per cent of all variant cases in B.C., compared to one per cent in the week May 2-8.

-David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Vast majority of families say long-term care homes did a good job, poll shows

A majority of family members were satisfied with how long-term care homes have operated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released today.

The poll was taken to get the views of family members closest to residents after Canadians were “very, very horrified” of stories coming out of long-term care homes over the past 15 months, said Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl.

About two-thirds of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada have occurred in long-term care homes.

The poll found that 39 per cent of those with loved ones in a long-term care home said the facilities handled the response to the pandemic as well as “could be expected” and 42 per cent said the homes performed “well enough overall.” The remaining 19 per cent said the long-term care homes had failed in their duties.

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The 800 respondents also said it would be impossible to care for their aged relatives at home (31 per cent) or would need considerable help (45 per cent) to do that.

-Susan Lazaruk


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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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