Lineup for a target-community COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Surrey, May 28, 2021. (Peace Arch News)

Lineup for a target-community COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Surrey, May 28, 2021. (Peace Arch News)

B.C. COVID-19 clinics busier as second-dose rollout gets going

183 new cases Friday, one new outbreak at Kelowna General

B.C. registered its fourth straight day with new COVID-19 cases under 200 Friday, with 183 cases, a single death, and one of the increasingly rare health care outbreaks at Kelowna General Hospital.

There were 224 people in hospital in the 24 hours up to June 4, the same as the previous day and less than half of the total in B.C.’s highest peak of infections in March and April.

B.C. is on closing in on 75 per cent adult vaccination against COVID-19, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there is no magic number of “community immunity” because new variants can begin to spread.

Henry says clinics around the province are getting busier as second dose appointments have begun to be booked, even as efforts continue to get more people registered for first doses. Having a high level of immunity allows the public health system to focus on any new clusters that are identified, because they can’t spread as quickly or as far.

“We know that the risk of things taking off or even having more severe illness in people goes down dramatically at 75, but it even goes down even more once you get to 90 and that protects even more people,” Henry said Thursday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the restart of scheduled surgeries is on track, with Abbotsford, Surrey, Lions Gate, UBC and Vancouver General going back to full operation by June 7. A COVID-19 outbreak affecting 11 people at Richmond Hospital forced the closure of one unit and 20 inpatient beds, setting back its non-urgent surgery restart until June 24.

In addition the two acute-care outbreaks at Kelowna and Richmond hospitals, active outbreaks were ongoing at Brookside Lodge and Cherington Place nursing homes in Surrey, both second occurrences. Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport senior home is also dealing with its second outbreak, and other active outbreaks are at Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna and Heritage Manor in Fort St. John.

RELATED: Canada should roll out second doses ASAP, advisors say

RELATED: B.C. pharmacies prepare to deliver 2nd AstraZeneca doses


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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