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COVID-19 vaccinations hit daily record in B.C. as new infections keep falling

Two more people die from COVID-19 in B.C., raising the province's death toll to 1,624
Bonnie Henry native broach
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry speaks to media

B.C. health officials provided more than 60,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the past 24 hours – the first time that they have reached that threshold.

Health officials have been saying for weeks that the province's vaccination effort was poised to ramp up, and there is finally evidence to show that this is happening. 

Officials provided 60,753 doses to 56,295 new people, with 4,458 others getting needed second doses. That shatters the previous record of 52,266 doses of vaccine provided in a 24-hour time span on May 6.

"Our clinics are ramped up and we have ample vaccine supply," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a May 11 statement.  "Now, it is your turn to step forward and get protected with your COVID-19 vaccine."

In total, B.C. has provided 2,219,856 doses of vaccine to 2,109,340 people, with 110,516 of those getting needed second doses. 

Henry said May 10 said she expects the number of people getting second doses of vaccine to accelerate in the next week. 

The province's battle against the virus appears to be winning in that several other metrics are also trending in the right direction. 

The count for new cases in a day, for example, fell to 515 in the past 24 hours – the lowest total since March 17, almost eight weeks ago. The number of those actively battling infections has also been on a steady decline, and now sits at 6,020 people – the lowest total since March 25.

The number of those in hospital rose by 11 overnight to 426.  Of those, 141 of those are sick enough to be in intensive care units – nine fewer than yesterday. 

Two additional people are known to have died, while infected with COVID-19, in the past day, raising the province's death toll from the disease to 1,624.

Of the 136,623 people who have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the first case was detected in B.C. in January, 2020, more than 93.7%, or 128,149 individuals, are deemed by the province to have recovered. 

There remain three outbreaks at long-term care homes in B.C., all of which are in the Interior Health region:
• Orchard Haven in Keremeos;
• Sandalwood Retirement Resort in Kelowna; and
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

The two B.C. hospitals with active COVID-19 outbreaks are Dawson Creek and District Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.

The province has been urging everyone aged 18 years and older to register through the province's online system. People aged 40 years and older are eligible to now book appointments, as well as pregnant people aged 16 years and older, and Indigenous people aged 18 years and older, and people who have received a letter indicating they are clinically vulnerable.

The province plans to release detailed data tomorrow that will identify neighbourhoods with higher levels of infection. 

It has, however, already revealed many areas where there are high levels of infection. Anyone 18 years old, and older, is eligible to get vaccinated at specific clinics if they register online using the province's system and enter their postal code.

Only those with eligible postal codes will be able to receive a vaccine through the high-transmission neighbourhood program.

The official service areas for that program are broken down by health region. 

In Fraser Health, the communities named by the province are:
• Abbotsford Rural;
• Burnaby Southeast;
• Burnaby Southwest;
• Central Abbotsford;
• Cloverdale;
• East Abbotsford;
• East Newton;
• Fleetwood;
• Guildford;
• North Delta;
• North Surrey;
• Panorama;
• Port Coquitlam;
• South Langley Township;
• South Mission;
• West Abbotsford;
• West Newton;
• Whalley; and
• Willoughby.

In Vancouver Coastal Health, the eligible areas are: 
• Cedar Cottage;
• Grandview-Woodland;
• Hastings-Sunrise;
• Kensington;
• Killarney;
• Renfrew-Collingwood;
• Squamish;
• Sunset; and
• Victoria-Fraserview.

In Interior Health, the eligible areas are:
• Golden;
• Rutland; and
• Summerland.

In Northern Health, the eligible areas are:
• Dawson Creek;
• Fort Nelson Population Centre;
• Fort St. John; and
• Fort St. James North.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom