COVID-19 in B.C.: New case count drops below 200; second dose for AstraZeneca recipients; and more

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      As we kick off June and head further into B.C.'s reopening plan and immunization program, there are several encouraging signs that things are moving in the right direction. The new case count has dropped below the 200 case mark for the first time in months.

      We have yet to see if the May long weekend will have any impact on case counts but for now, today’s report offers a moment of respite.

      B.C. update: June 1

      B.C. has 184 new cases (including 10 epi-linked cases), according to a joint statement from B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

      By region, the new case count includes:

      • 113 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 48 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 19 in Interior Health;
      • two in Northern Health;
      • one in Island Health;
      • one person from outside of Canada.

      For yet another consecutive day, the number of active cases continued to shrink. With a drop of 153 cases since yesterday, there are now 2,800 active cases today.

      Hospitalized cases increased by five people to 254 individuals in hospitals, with 80 of those patients in intensive care units (two more people since yesterday).

      More good news: there aren’t any new COVID-19-related deaths. The total number of fatalities during the pandemic remains at 1,703 people who have died.

      With 337 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 139,899 people have recovered over the course of the pandemic.

      Thus far during the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 144,473 COVID-19 cases.


      Henry and Dix stated that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) confirmed the safety and effectiveness on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses.

      NACI also reaffirmed the recommendation to prioritize second doses for those at highest risk of severe illness and death.

      According to NACI, people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can safely receive either the same vaccine or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose.

      Henry and Dix said in their joint statement that more information will be announced later this week.

      In B.C.’s immunization program, a total of 3,303,334 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered so far, and 191,222 of those are second doses.

      Currently, 70 percent of all adults in B.C. and 67 percent of those 12 and older have now received their first dose.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Yet more encouraging signs: none of the five regional health authorities any new healthcare or community outbreaks, nor did they list any new public exposure events or businesses closed due to COVID-19.

      In addition, none of the supermarket companies that publicly list cases among staff—T&T Supermarket, Loblaws, and Sobeys, in addition to McDonald’s—listed any new locations with employees testing positive.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following three flights to its lists of public exposures (affected row information is listed at the BCCDC website if available):

      • May 27: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • May 28: Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • May 29: Air Canada 119, Toronto to Vancouver.