B.C. sets more hospitalization records in latest COVID-19 update
VANCOUVER -- B.C. once again set COVID-19 hospitalization records on Wednesday, with 515 people now hospitalized with the disease and 171 people in intensive care.
Both of those numbers are records, but they come as the number of new cases in the province continues to be well below its early-April highs.
B.C. added 841 cases to its total on Wednesday, as well as five COVID-19-related deaths. There are currently 8,009 active cases in the province.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the latest numbers in a written statement.
Since the pandemic began, B.C. has seen a total of 127,889 coronavirus infections, as well as 1,576 deaths.
"Our condolences are with the family, friends and caregivers of the people who have died as a result of COVID-19," Henry and Dix said in their statement.
Wednesday's update brought B.C.'s rolling seven-day average for new cases down slightly, from 879 on Tuesday to 876. The average last peaked at 1,130 on April 12.
Dix and Henry also confirmed the ends of two outbreaks in health-care facilities, one at Sunset Manor long-term care home in Chilliwack and the other at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
B.C. has now administered 1,705,409 doses of COVID-19, the vast majority of them first doses. A total of 89,725 people have received second doses in the province as of Wednesday.
The 1,615,684 people who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine represent 31 per cent of the province's total population.
“Each week, more and more vaccine is arriving in our province, and with each person who gets their vaccine, we are all a little safer," Dix and Henry said.
The latest vaccine numbers come amid a shift in the province's strategy that has seen clinics set up in "hotspots" around the Lower Mainland, including some drop-in clinics in recent days. Those clinics are only open to residents of the affected neighbourhoods, but they've seen long lineups, including one that began overnight for a clinic held Wednesday in Surrey's Newton neighbourhood.
Outside of hotspots, B.C.'s age-based vaccination program is still ongoing, with residents ages 58 and older set to be invited to book appointments on Thursday.
The province is encouraging everyone 18 and older to register online to be contacted when it's their turn to be vaccinated.
While vaccination efforts are ongoing, B.C. residents need to continue to take the "small, simple steps" like hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing that help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Henry and Dix said.
“We are on our path, and while there may be obstacles to overcome along the way, by staying with our layers of protection, staying small and local, and following all of the orders in place, we will be able to put the pandemic behind us," they said.