Island Health reports 100 new COVID-19 cases as province introduces travel regulations — Daily COVID-19 update

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Island Health reported 100 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and now has 346 active cases. Of these, 102 are in the central island region, 207 are in the south and 37 are in the north.

There are currently 29 people hospitalized in Island Health, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease control (BC CDC), five of whom are in critical care.

Across the province there were 2,960 new cases and eight deaths reported over the weekend. One of the deaths was a child under the age of two, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

“Although this child had pre-existing health conditions that complicated the illness, it was the virus that caused their death,” she said.

There are now 9,353 active cases in the province, according to the BC CDC. Of these, 441 are in hospital, 138 of whom are in critical care.

The province introduced new regulations today which will restrict travel between health authorities.

“If we can’t do it without an order, we are prepared to bring an order in, but at this point non-essential travel should be confined to local travel only. I am confident that most British Columbians want to follow that order and will follow that order as we go forward,” said Premier John Horgan.

He said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, will announce an order and provide more details on Friday.

“There will be a fine if you are traveling outside of your area without a legitimate reason,” Horgan said. Police will be able to conduct random “audits” to ensure people have a valid reason for their travel, starting Friday.

“We will be consulting with the BIPOC community to ensure we bring forward these restrictions in a way that does not give anyone fear that there will be additional repercussions. This is about travel, there will be no additional authority given to police,” he said.

BC Ferries will stop accepting bookings for recreational vehicles, such as campers and will contact passengers with bookings to ensure travel is not for leisure, Horgan said. There will also be no additional sailings for May long weekend.

The current public health orders restricting indoor dining have also been extended until after the long weekend, in addition to the new guidelines.

The province will begin offering AstraZenica vaccine in pharmacies to residents 40 years and older, according to Henry. Delivery of the vaccine was paused while the province gathered more information about rare blood clotting, Henry said, but is set to resume later this week.

She said the blood clot risk is close to four in a million, “We need to put that in the context of what we are seeing across our province right now where COVID transmission rates are very high and high in many communities and the risk of hospitalization from COVID is two–four in a hundred for most people.”

There have been 1,380,160 doses of vaccine administered in the province so far, according to the BC CDC.

Henry said the province is on track to have first doses available to all British Columbians by the end of June and second doses by September. 

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