FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Interior Health (IH) recorded 131 new cases of COVID-19 in the region over the weekend.

The total number of cases in the health authority is now at 11,425, with 461 active cases. Twenty-six individuals are currently hospitalized due to the virus, with 12 in intensive care.

Five more people in the region have died, bringing the death toll to 140 since the pandemic began.

Two areas within the health region have also been identified as high-transmission areas. Health authorities announced that the District of Summerland and Kelowna neighbourhood Rutland will have expanded vaccine eligibility starting May 10.

This means residents aged 18 years old and up will now be able to register to receive the vaccine.

Three outbreaks remain ongoing in IH, two of them in Kelowna. IH provided the following update on those facilities:

  • Sandalwood Retirement Resort independent living in Kelowna has 28 cases: 26 residents and two staff, with one death connected to the outbreak.
  • Orchard Haven long-term care in Keremeos has two cases: one resident and one staff.
  • Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna has 35 cases: 25 residents, 10 staff/other, with three deaths connected to the outbreak.

Overall in B.C., daily infection numbers are seeing a dip, with provincial health officers announcing 596 new cases of the virus in the 24 hours up to Saturday, 605 on Sunday, and 558 on Monday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said now that two million doses have been administered and with vaccine shipments increasing, pandemic restrictions will be relieved soon.

“We are moving in the right direction, but as you can see by today’s numbers, COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities,” she said.

“Immunization is going to get us there, but we are not yet at the point where we can ease up on our restrictions.”

Besides opening vaccination bookings to younger people in high-transmission areas, the province will also open bookings to people 40 and older this week.

READ MORE: All adults in Rutland, Summerland now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine


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