COVID-19 Update: May 2021

Provincial Health Officer Orders

The provincial health officer orders that were set to expire on April 19 have been extended and are now in effect to May 24, 2021 at midnight.

  • For restaurants, bars and pubs, all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios. People dining on patios should do so with their immediate household or core bubble.
  • Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are also paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only, i.e. one-on-one personal training.
  • The previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services under the current variance may continue.
  • Travel continues to be limited to essential travel, work or medical reasons only. For those who have travelled outside their health region, if you or anyone in your family develops any signs of illness, you must stay home from work, school or daycare, and arrange to get tested immediately.
  • Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort is closed through to April 19, 2021, to address and prevent community spread related to non-essential travel.
  • All workers are strongly encouraged to work from home, where possible.
  • Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.

Provincial Health Officer’s Orders
Guidance on Restrictions

The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has issued an order under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) restricting non-essential travel between certain regions of the province that is in effect until May 25, 2021.

The order combines B.C.’s five health authorities into three regions of the province. Travel into and out of the regions for non-essential reasons is not allowed. The regions are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health)
  2. Northern/Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope)
    • Residents from the Hope area can travel to Chilliwack for essential goods and supplies
    • Residents from the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast area can travel to Port Hardy for essential goods and supplies
  3. Vancouver Island (Vancouver Island Health)

Travel and COVID-19


COVID-19 in Long-Term Care

Between January 13 and April 28, newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 decreased 96% among long-term care residents and staff. On January 13 there were 245 new cases compared to 10 new cases in the week ending April 28. The number of new cases in long-term care has increased slightly since the week ending March 24 when there was only 1 new case.

Graph of COVID-19 Cases in Long-Term Care by Week

Every Thursday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) publishes updates on COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care, assisted living and independent living.

Weekly COVID-19 Outbreak Report – April 29, 2021
Weekly COVID-19 Outbreak Report – April 22, 2021
Weekly COVID-19 Outbreak Report – April 15, 2021
Weekly COVID-19 Outbreak Report – April 8, 2021
Weekly COVID-19 Outbreak Report – April 1, 2021


Provincial news releases

April 27, 2021 State of Emergency
State of emergency extended to continue B.C.’s COVID-19 response

April 23, 2021 Travel Restrictions
Province introduces travel restrictions to curb spread of COVID-19

April 19, 2021 COVID-19 Update and Protecting our Communities Presentation
Joint Statement on B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates
COVID-19: Protecting People, Communities and our Healthcare System

April 15, 2021 COVID-19 Update and Data Modelling Presentation
Joint Statement on B.C.’s COVID 19 response, latest updates
COVID-19: April Data Update


COVID-19 Statistics

The BCCDC provides the latest data on COVID-19 in British Columbia, including a dashboard that summarizes COVID-19 information by health region and the entire province. Information includes cases, hospitalizations, critical care admissions, recoveries, testing, deaths and vaccination administration.

BC COVID-19 Data
BC COVID-19 Dashboard

The Government of Canada provides summary information of COVID-19 cases across Canada and over time. The data provides an overview of hospitalizations and deaths, testing, variants of concern and exposures.

COVID-19 Daily Epidemiology Update