COVID-19 numbers keep dropping in B.C. as 974 new cases and 12 more deaths recorded over past 3 days

·3 min read
A registered nurse waits to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations at Vancouver General Hospital on March 4. More than 2.88 million shots have now been administered to adults in B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A registered nurse waits to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations at Vancouver General Hospital on March 4. More than 2.88 million shots have now been administered to adults in B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

On Monday, B.C. health officials announced 974 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths over the past three days, bringing the province's seven-day rolling average of new cases and the active case load to their lowest points in six months.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are 3,953 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

There are now 292 people in hospital with the disease, including 96 who are in intensive care. Overall hospitalizations have dropped by nearly 17 per cent in the past week; while the number of patients in the ICU has plummeted by 27 per cent.

"Today is one day closer to putting this pandemic behind us. It's the decisions we make right now and continue to make in the coming days and weeks that will make all the difference in our efforts to continue pushing COVID-19 numbers down," Henry and Dix said in the statement.

"On this holiday Monday, we are grateful for the determination and resolve British Columbians have shown. Their willingness to end this pandemic has been immeasurable."

Monday's numbers mean that an average of 325 new cases were recorded in the past three days, with a low of 293 cases confirmed over the past 24 hours. That's down significantly from the height of the third wave, when a single day could see more than 1,200 new cases.

The provincial death toll from the disease now stands at 1,679 lives lost out of 142,347 confirmed cases.

So far, 2,885,488 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to adults in B.C., including 147,144 second doses.

Weekend vaccine clinics 'incredibly busy'

Vaccination clinics around the province have been delivering doses throughout the weekend for all British Columbians aged 12 and up.

Dr. Carolyn Shiau, who has spent her weekend working at the Poirier Forum immunization clinic in Coquitlam, said it's been "incredibly busy."

"Everybody is super excited to be here. It's actually quite an unusual thing to work in a health care setting where everybody wants to come to see you."

Children aged 12 to 17 have been taking Henry's guidance to get vaccinated at the same time as their parents, according to Shiau, who said she's been impressed with the youth that have visited her particular clinic.

"[They] clearly had a reasonable discussion at home with mom and dad or with their siblings," Shiau said.

"They say their friends are coming next week, but they realize they could come with mom and dad, so they feel like they're getting it early, so they're very excited to be here."

Shiau encouraged anyone who has not yet registered to be vaccinated to do so, either online or by phone.

Officials to update restrictions Tuesday

On Tuesday, B.C.'s current restrictions on social gatherings, indoor dining, group fitness and travel are set to expire and officials have promised to reveal more plans for reopening the province.

"As we look to tomorrow and the announcement of the restart plan, we encourage everyone to stay the course today. Until tomorrow's announcement, there are no changes for individuals or businesses," Henry and Dix said.

"As we enjoy the final day of this long weekend, let's remember to stay local and be kind to one another. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday Monday."

On Saturday, RCMP say they ordered 103 drivers to turn around at road checks put in place to prevent non-essential travel between regions. Two drivers were charged for allegedly failing to stop for police, which carries a $230 fine.