B.C. records another 694 cases of COVID-19, marks 2M vaccine doses
VANCOUVER -- B.C. health officials say another 694 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the province.
In a news conference Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said the latest update brings the total number of cases considered active in the province to 6,802.
Of those, 154 of a total 457 people hospitalized due to the disease are in intensive care units.
The update also brings B.C.'s rolling seven-day average to 697 – the first time its been below 700 since March 26, and the lowest its been since March 25, when it stood at 674.
The total number of cases confirmed in B.C. since the start of the pandemic has now reached 133,619.
About 94 per cent, or 125,025 cases, are considered to have recovered from the novel coronavirus.
The provincial health officer said one more person has died since Wednesday's update, bringing the death toll to 1,595.
Henry said the loss of "each and every individual" is mourned.
The doctor said there were no new outbreaks to report, leaving the province dealing with four in long-term, assisted and independent living facilities, and three in acute care.
Switching her tone, Henry was notably more upbeat as she announced that a milestone would be reached on Thursday: B.C.'s two millionth dose of vaccine.
"This is very good news," she said.
Of the vaccines given out in the province so far, 95,868 have been second doses.
Henry said the ages of eligibility are coming down quickly. As of Thursday, anyone aged 49 and older is eligible on the province's age-based timeline – a timeline she thinks will be moving "very quickly" with more vaccine being delivered.
Worker and outbreak response programs mean others are able to get their shots ahead of their age group as well.
These factors mean, according to the doctor, that the province expects to be able to shorten the gap between first and second doses. Currently in B.C., recipients of the first dose are being told to expect a four-month wait for the next shot.
Henry's update included B.C.'s first case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, a rare response to the vaccine that causes blood clots.
The update came as Mounties across B.C. set up roadblocks on some highways in an effort to enforce a travel restriction in place until after the May long weekend, at least.
Non-essential trips are currently banned between the province's three travel regions.
Dr. Bonnie Henry initially announced 684 new cases in B.C., but later said she'd misspoke. The daily total was 694.