B.C. reports 494 cases of COVID-19, lowest daily increase since mid-March
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia announced 494 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the lowest single-day increase in infections since mid-March.
The province's rolling weekly average also dropped to 565 cases per day, meaning it has decreased by half since peaking at 1,130 per day at the height of B.C.'s third wave back in April.
Health officials also announced two new deaths related to the disease. B.C. has now recorded 138,304 cases of COVID-19 and 1,634 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said their "condolences are with the family, friends and caregivers of the people who have died as a result of COVID-19."
Another 643 people have recovered from the disease since Thursday as well, pushing B.C.'s active caseload down to 5,548. The number of active cases has been declining steadily since hitting a provincial high of 10,081 on April 16.
The number of people battling COVID-19 in hospital dropped by 26, down to 387, though the number of patient in intensive care remained static at 141.
While B.C.'s case numbers have been trending in the right direction, health officials have stressed that the counts remain high and that people should not become complacent.
"As we go into the weekend, let's remember that COVID-19 continues to circulate in our communities, so let's keep our safety layers top of mind to get us through this pandemic, together," Henry and Dix said.
On Thursday, while speaking at her monthly modelling presentation, Henry did offer hope that the province will be relaxing some of its current restrictions soon. She said that won't happen until after the Victoria Day long weekend, however, and "even then it's not going to be flicking the switch, it's going to be gradually and slowly increasing the light."
"We won't get to the bottom of our infection curve until we get to a much higher immunization rate," Henry added.
B.C.'s immunization program has been rapidly gaining speed, and the province celebrated a milestone this week after offering at least one dose to 50 per cent of the eligible adult population.
Another 57,752 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered since the last update, bringing the total to 2,393,265. That includes 124,880 second doses.
And by Sunday evening, the province has promised every adult in the province will become eligible to book an appointment – provided they have registered by visiting the Get Vaccinated website or calling 1-833-838-2323.
"As we have seen, our vaccines are working. They are protecting those who are highest risk and as everyone gets vaccinated, they will protect you and the people around you, too," Henry and Dix said.