The provincial government announced Monday 156 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 more deaths from over the weekend.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 653 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 49 people are in hospital, with 12 in intensive care, down from 14 a week ago.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 25 per cent from last Monday, when 66 people were in hospital with the disease.
There are two active outbreaks, at Holyrood Manor in Fraser Health and Laurel Place at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,763 lives lost out of 148,487 confirmed cases to date.
So far, 6,173,328 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 2,447,323 second doses. Nearly 80 per cent of all eligible British Columbians now have at least one dose of a COVID vaccine and 53 per cent have two.
Anyone in B.C. who has not yet registered to be immunized is asked to do so now.
Long-term care homes fully open
Starting Monday, residents in B.C.'s long-term care facilities can now visit with friends and family members without restrictions, provided they are fully vaccinated.
According to the province, all visitors will need to be fully vaccinated and will be asked to provide proof of immunization when they arrive. Visitors will still need to wear a mask in common areas but not when they are in the resident's room.
Visitors no longer need to schedule visits in advance. There will also no longer be a limit on the number of visitors each resident can have.
Social events and gatherings will also resume in long-term care homes. Indoor gatherings can include residents and staff, outdoor gatherings can include family and friends. Adult day programs and in-facility respite can also fully resume.
Welcoming back tourists
The federal government laid out its plans for reopening the country to international visitors Monday.
Ottawa now says that — starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. ET. — fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in that country will be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine for two weeks.
The government said it plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries to enter Canada on Sept. 7.
Foreign visitors would also have to follow provincial and territorial public health measures.
A government official speaking on background to journalists today said that, as of Aug. 9, children under 12 — who aren't yet approved to receive a vaccine — will be exempt from the quarantine requirement after entering Canada and can move around with their parents if they follow public health measures.