COVID-19 update for June 17: B.C. government to provide update on back to school planning | Health officials plan for managing virus in future | 113 new cases, four deaths

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 June 17, 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 June 16:• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,674 (1,454 active cases)
• New cases since June 15: 113
• Total deaths: 1,738 (4 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 134
• Intensive care: 41
• Total vaccinations: 4,165,142 doses administered; 710,847 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 143,449
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 4


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


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

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

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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


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.

9:30 a.m. – Education and health officials provide update on planning for back to school in fall

Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, Stephanie Higginson, president of the BC School Trustees Association, and Andrea Sinclair, president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils provide an update on planning for back to school in September.


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6 a.m. – B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

The future of COVID-19 could look a lot like seasonal flus or other common illnesses like measles or pneumonia, British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says.

Dr. Reka Gustafson said it’s hard to speculate on the longevity of COVID-19 but public health officials are preparing for a shift to more typical communicable disease management based on the characteristics and behaviour of the virus.

“We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if this virus turns into one of the circulating coronaviruses in the population. That would be our best bet at this point,” she said in an interview.

British Columbia entered the second stage of its reopening plan Tuesday after surpassing target rates for first-dose vaccinations amid a sharp decline in new cases. More restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on July 1 and the fourth and final stage of the reopening plan is slated to go into effect on Sept. 7, if that trajectory continues.

For the public, life should return to pre-pandemic norms of interaction in September if all goes as planned, Gustafson said, adding that she believes the plan is “very cautious and sensible.”

Behind the scenes, public health officials are anticipating a shift away from emergency pandemic management toward communicable disease control, she said. However, even as a more routine strategy replaces the all-hands-on-deck approach, Gustafson said it will involve many of the same tools: testing, surveillance, case and contact management, and immunization strategies.


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-The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 113 new cases of COVID-19 and four deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are 1,320 active cases of COVID-19 in the community with 134 being treated in hospital, including 41 in intensive care.

Henry reported 113 new cases on Wednesday and four deaths – bringing that total to 1,738 since the pandemic was declared in March, 2020. COVID-19 cases, active cases and hospitalizations are all falling.

Henry said B.C. had among the highest levels of dose one vaccination in the world. On Tuesday there were 62,237 doses administered across B.C., most of which (53,356) were second doses. There have now been 3,454,295 people in B.C. who have received at least one dose of vaccine, or 74.5 per cent of people aged 12 and over.

12 a.m. – Pandemic to last at least two years, says UK health official

COVID-19 variants will continue to emerge and “we will not be through this pandemic until the whole world has the ability to get vaccinated,” Susan Hopkins, deputy director of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, said at a House of Commons science committee meeting.

“And that realistically is two years away.”

“And until that, where we get some level of control over everything, we will continue to see variants emerge, we will continue to run behind as we try and understand this, and we will get to a position of stability, where we are with … seasonal influenza.

– Bloomberg


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Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


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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