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B.C. adds 11 COVID-19 deaths over 72 hours as hospitalizations drop again

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver in May 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS) A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver in May 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

There were 11 deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the weekend across British Columbia, as the number of test-positive patients in hospital continued to decline.

The weekend update provided Monday by the Ministry of Health put the province's COVID-19 death toll at 2,914.

Fraser Health reported six of the latest deaths and Interior Health reported three, while Northern Health and Island Health reported one each.

Meanwhile, the tally of patients with COVID-19 declined to 449, the lowest its been since Jan. 10. That includes incidental patients who were admitted to hospital for reasons unrelated to the disease, but tested positive through routine screening.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care also decreased to 63, down from 69 on Friday.

The unvaccinated remain much more likely to end up in hospital because of COVID-19 than the vaccinated. According to the ministry's update, the unvaccinated were hospitalized at a rate of 111 per 100,000 population from Feb. 25 to March 3, after adjusting for age, compared to 47 per 100,000 among the partially vaccinated and 46 per 100,000 among the fully vaccinated.

The government does not disclose the vaccination status of the deceased in daily COVID-19 updates, but data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows the unvaccinated are also dying at a higher rate than those with vaccine protection.

Many of the province's COVID-19 deaths have been among the elderly living in care, but the number of outbreaks in those settings has been declining for weeks.

No new outbreaks were declared at health-care facilities from Friday afternoon through Monday afternoon, and the ones at Menno Home, Cascade Gardens Seniors Community and Sun Pointe Village were declared over. That leaves 17 active outbreaks across the health-care system, most at long-term care homes in the Interior and on Vancouver Island.

The Ministry of Health also reported 997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from the weekend, though most healthy people are no longer being tested and would not be included in that tally.

Officials still believe transmission is declining along with hospitalization numbers, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have said they hope to relax some COVID-19 measures in time for spring break.

They are expected to address provincial COVID-19 restrictions this week.

Last month, B.C. lifted restrictions related to venue capacity, indoor dining, bars, nightclubs and wedding receptions, but has so far opted not to follow other provinces in lifting mask mandates for indoor public spaces or ending the use of vaccine passports for certain activities. Top Stories

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