VANCOUVER -- British Columbia identified 229 new cases of COVID-19 and suffered three related deaths over the weekend, while recording the lowest single-day increase in infections since August.

The province's seven-day average also dropped below 100 for the first time since Oct. 2, and the active caseload fell to 1,209 – the lowest it's been since Sept. 3.

Case numbers have continued to decline despite the relaxed COVID-19 rules the province began implementing four weeks ago, progress that health officials have largely credited to B.C.'s immunization program.

In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix urged anyone who hasn't already received a first dose to book an appointment soon.

"Let’s remember that the virus is still circulating in communities, here in B.C. and in neighbouring provinces and territories," they wrote. "If you are planning a trip, ensure you are vaccinated before you go – it is your ticket to safe travel this summer."

The government has opened a number of drop-in clinics around the province, hoping the easy access will encourage more people to join the immunization effort.

The pace of first doses being administered in B.C. has slowed considerably over recent weeks. Of the 140,281 shots given out over the weekend, 112,030 were second doses.

B.C. has now administered 4,436,432 shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines combined, including enough first doses to cover 77 per cent of adults in the province.

Transmissions has already plummeted in many parts of B.C., though some hotspots remain. The Fraser Health Region accounted for 43 per cent of the cases detected over the weekend.

Overall, the province identified an average of 76 cases per day over the three 24-hour reporting periods beginning Friday afternoon. That includes 45 cases recorded from Sunday to Monday. The last time B.C. identified fewer than 46 infections in a day was Aug. 10.

COVID-19 hospitalizations fell to 108 – a drop of 20 from Friday – though the number of patients in intensive care remained steady at 48.