COVID-19 in B.C.: 1,006 new cases, hospitalizations reach another new record
VANCOUVER -- Another 1,006 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C, health officials announced Thursday.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian shared the latest positive test figures in an afternoon news conference, revealing as well that the province has once again broken its record for coronavirus hospitalizations.
There are now 502 people battling COVID-19 in hospital, with 161 requiring critical care.
The pair also announced four more people died, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,550.
"As always these are challenging times to have someone pass away from COVID-19 and our thoughts and condolences go to the families and communities and the care providers who looked after those who have passed away," Henry said.
The province's COVID-19 curve is still trending downward, however. The rolling weekly average of daily case counts is now 954, down from a provincial record of 1,129 on April 12.
The number of active cases has also dropped to 8,733, down from a high of 10,081 on April 16.
The majority of the latest cases – 600 of them – were recorded in the Fraser Health region, Henry said. Another 241 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 37 in Island Health, 83 in Interior Health and 42 in Northern Health. Three more were people who don't live locally.
With Thursday's case update, a total of 122,757 people have tested positive for the disease in B.C.
So far in B.C., 1,411,955 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in the province along with 88,475 second doses, which is enough for about 27 per cent of adults locally.
"I want to talk a little bit about encouraging everybody to get your vaccine when it is available for you," she said. "Not only are you protecting yourself, but you're protecting those around you ... it is a benefit for all of us, the more people are protected."
Henry took a moment to encourage British Columbians to register for the vaccine through the province's online system, saying it would help streamline distribution for both first and second doses.
"With each person vaccinated we come closer to our post-pandemic normalcy. It won't be the same as prior to this pandemic, and it will mean some changes as we go through the summer," she said. "But it is that step closer for all of us."
The top doctor urged people – even those who have received a vaccine – to continue following health orders. She also reminded locals that details would be released about new travel restrictions and enforcement on Friday.
"We have asked for these additional measures because we know with the transmission rates right now, travel will spread the virus further," Henry said. "Staying in our local communities means we are not going to and from COVID hotspots and inadvertently bringing the virus along with us."