COVID-19 numbers continue to fall as B.C. records 148 new cases and 3 more deaths

·3 min read
As vaccinations ramp up, B.C. health officials say the end of the emergency response to COVID-19 is finally in sight. (Bobby Hristova/CBC - image credit)
As vaccinations ramp up, B.C. health officials say the end of the emergency response to COVID-19 is finally in sight. (Bobby Hristova/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 148 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 1,975 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C. It's the first time since Oct. 22 that active cases have fallen below 2,000.

A total of 195 people are in hospital, including 47 who are in intensive care — both lower numbers than anything B.C. has seen since mid-November.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 21 per cent from last Wednesday, when 246 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 33 per cent from 70 a week ago

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,725 lives lost out of 145,843 confirmed cases.

So far, 3,749,758 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 390,264 second doses. A new high of 44,756 second doses were administered in B.C. on Tuesday, although the progress on first doses is starting to slow, falling below 20,000 shots for the second day in a row.

The latest numbers mean that 74.5 per cent of adults have received their first shot, as have 72.4 per cent of those over the age of 12.

"Canada has some of the highest Dose 1 immunization levels in the world and British Columbia is equally strong. We ask everyone to join us in continuing to push forward with our vaccine progress," Henry and Dix said.

Travel restrictions and incoming changes

British Columbians are still not permitted to travel for any non-essential reasons outside of three geographic zones based roughly on health regions.

This restriction remains in place until at least June 15, according to provincial health officials.

On Monday, Deputy Provincial Health Officer Réka Gustafson signalled that the end of the province's emergency response to COVID-19 is in sight.

Gustafson said public health officials are starting to plan a move away from managing COVID-19 as an emergency.

On Wednesday morning, the federal government announced fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border into Canada will soon no longer be required to stay at a hotel for part of their quarantine period.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is hoping to ease some restrictions in stages, starting in early July.

Canadian officials are also looking at a multi-phase approach to reopening the border with the U.S. that would begin with allowing fully vaccinated travellers to enter starting this summer.

Immunization information

Anyone who has not booked an appointment for their first vaccine dose is encouraged to do so immediately.

Registering to receive a shot can be done in three ways:

  • By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.

Those who received their vaccine before the Get Vaccinated portal launched on April 6 would have booked through the old system and would not have been registered with the province's current online registration system.

This group is advised to register now to receive an email or text notification of their second dose appointment.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting