With state of emergency set to end, B.C. records 44 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths

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People are pictured waiting in line outside of Canada Place for their COVID-19 vaccination in Vancouver on June 21. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
People are pictured waiting in line outside of Canada Place for their COVID-19 vaccination in Vancouver on June 21. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 44 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 816 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 108 people are in hospital, with 34 in intensive care.

The number of patients in intensive care is down from 41 a week ago.

So far, 5,002,916 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 1,421,506 second doses.

State of emergency ending

On Thursday, the provincial state of emergency which has been in place since March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement Tuesday as the province prepares to enter the third phase of its reopening plan with daily case counts steadily falling and the province experiencing one of the world's highest vaccination rates.

The seven-day rolling average case count is at its lowest point since August. More than 78 per cent of adults have received one dose of vaccine, and 32 per cent have been fully immunized.

With B.C. now confirmed to enter Step 3 of its restart plan on July 1, recreational travel within Canada will be allowed again, as will indoor and outdoor personal gatherings with no limit on the number of people who can join. Kids will be permitted to have sleepovers with their friends again.

Residents will also be able to attend fairs and festivals, as long as a public health safety plan is in place.

Masks will be recommended, but no longer mandatory.

"With the start of Step 3 of the B.C. Restart plan coming into effect tomorrow, it is a time of renewal and reflection for all of us. While many of the orders will be amended or no longer be in effect, it is about the gradual restart of our province, moving at a pace that works for each of us," read the statement from the province.

"Even with the changes, masks remain an important layer of protection, and we should all continue to wear them in all indoor public spaces until we have immunity from the second dose of vaccine."

The statement also warned B.C. residents to monitor their health as the province experiences an unprecedented heat.

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