COVID-19 update: B.C. records 1,360 cases and 14 deaths over the weekend
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia recorded another 1,360 cases of COVID-19 and 14 related deaths over the weekend, health officials announced Monday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said most of the people who died were over the age of 60, while two were between the ages of 40 and 59.
"This again reminds us that this virus, while differentially affecting the seniors and elders in our lives, also can have severe effects on young people in their 40s and 50s and younger," Henry said.
"Our condolences and our thoughts are with the family members, the care givers, the people who knew and loved all of those who died this past weekend."
B.C. has now recorded a total of 139,664 cases of COVID-19 and 1,648 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
After an alarming and record-breaking surge in cases during province's third wave, B.C.'s epidemiological curve has been bending downward in recent weeks, and that trend continued over the weekend.
The rolling seven-day average for infections dropped to 508 per day on Monday, the lowest it's been since March 4. The province's active caseload also fell to 5,021, a drop of more than 500 from Friday.
Meanwhile, the number of people battling COVID-19 in hospital fell by 37, down to 350. That includes 132 patients in intensive care.
Another 135,133 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered over the weekend – an average of 45,044 per day – bringing B.C.'s total to 2,528,398 shots. That includes 2,398,375 first doses and 130,023 second doses.
"This means 55 per cent of eligible adults 18 years and over have now received their first dose of vaccine in British Columbia," Henry said.
Millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are arriving in Canada every week, allowing provinces to ramp up their immunization programs. On Sunday evening, B.C. opened up its COVID-19 vaccine booking system to every adult registered through the Get Vaccinated website or phone system.
"It is now your turn, all of our turn, and I encourage everyone to get immunized as soon as you can," Henry said. "It takes as long as three weeks or longer to have the full protection from these vaccine doses, so the sooner you register and book your appointment and get your vaccine, the sooner you will have the protection that we are all looking for from this dose."
Later this week, the province is expected to share more details about its plans for immunizing children between the ages of 12 and 17 as well.
Health officials are also preparing to provide an update on the COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place for months – though Henry stressed that nothing will be changed until after the Victoria Day long weekend.
"This long weekend, it is important for all of us to stay the course. That means staying local, staying small and remembering to use all of our protective measures, even as more and more of us are immunized," she said.
Henry said the government will be reviewing the rate of community transmission and the number of people who have received a first vaccine dose and had a full three weeks to build antibodies while determining their next steps.
In the meantime, obeying all restrictions and following all guidelines will "make a difference" in what the summer will look like in B.C., she added.
"I don't think anybody wants to see a surge in cases in two weeks," Henry said. "We need to keep moving forward."