COVID-19 update: B.C. reports 20 deaths and 1,759 cases from the weekend
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia recorded another 1,759 cases of COVID-19 and 20 related deaths over the weekend.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said most of the latest fatalities involved seniors over the age of 70, but that two people in their 40s and two others in their 50s also died.
"Having an age group doesn't represent each individual who passed away this weekend from the virus, it just helps us recognize that nobody is immune," Henry said. "And that this virus still has a tremendous negative impact on our seniors and elders."
Five of the seniors who died were between the ages of 80 and 89, and one was a care home resident who was over the age of 90, Henry said.
B.C. has now recorded a total of 136,100 cases of COVID-19 and 1,622 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
While case counts remain high and the disease continues to claim more victims, there have been some hopeful signs that the province is moving in the right direction.
The weekly average for coronavirus infections dropped to 634 per day on Monday, the lowest it's been since March 24. And only 558 cases were identified from Sunday to Monday, marking the lowest single-day increase since March 20.
There are now 6,140 active COVID-19 cases across the province, down more than 600 from Friday. Hospitalizations dropped to 415, down from 445 last week, with 150 patients in intensive care.
"As the number of people being immunized increases and our immunity catches up after several weeks, we will be able to start thinking about our post-pandemic future. We know that that is coming. Immunization is going to get us there," Henry said.
As of this weekend, more than two million people in B.C. have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, something the provincial health officer called a "tremendous accomplishment."
Another 116,661 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered since Friday's update, for an average of 38,887 per day. The province has now given out 2,159,103 shots, including 106,058 second doses.
As of Monday evening, everyone age 40 and up will be able to register for their vaccine appointment. With the increasing deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine coming this month and next, Henry noted that B.C. will be moving through its age-based program "very rapidly," and encouraged anyone who hasn't already registered on the Get Vaccinated website to do so.
"This ensures your dose is reserved for you and we can get it to your clinic as soon as it's available," Henry said.
Despite the progress B.C. has made, most of the population remains unvaccinated, and health officials have stressed that it's important to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols.
Some of the current restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through the May long weekend, including the ban on indoor dining at restaurants. Henry said the government is eager to get people back into restaurants as soon as it's safe to do so, but that "we're not quite at that place yet."