COVID-19 update: B.C.'s case numbers continue falling as province prepares to unveil restart plan
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's COVID-19 case numbers continued falling over the weekend as officials prepared to unveil the province's restart plan.
Fewer than 1,000 new infections have been identified since the start of the Victoria Day long weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday in a joint written statement.
There were 356 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 325 from Saturday to Sunday, and 293 from Sunday to Monday.
The last time B.C. announced fewer than 300 cases in a single day was on Feb. 1.
The province's rolling weekly average dropped to 383 infections per day, the lowest it's been since Nov. 5. Active cases also decreased to 3,953, down from 4,507 on Friday. The last time B.C.'s active caseload fell below 4,000 was Feb. 8.
On Tuesday, health officials are joining B.C. Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon to announce the government's next steps in tackling the pandemic.
That will include an end to the so-called "circuit breaker" that was implemented back in March amid an alarming surge in cases.
Officials have indicated that some COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted or relaxed, though Henry and Dix stressed that all existing rules remain in place throughout Victoria Day.
"On this holiday Monday, we are grateful for the determination and resolve British Columbians have shown. Their willingness to end this pandemic has been immeasurable," they said in their statement.
"As we look to tomorrow and the announcement of the restart plan, we encourage everyone to stay the course today. Until tomorrow's announcement, there are no changes for individuals or businesses."
There was even more good news in hospitalizations. The number of patients battling COVID-19 in hospital dropped to 292 on Monday, a decrease of 27. That includes 96 patients in intensive care.
But despite the progress seen over the last month, case numbers in B.C. remain high. The seven-day average is still approximately where it was just before the province's record-breaking third wave of the pandemic began.
Another 12 people died from the disease over the weekend as well, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,679.
"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.
There has been new hope of limiting the severity of illness and the rate of transmission through B.C.'s immunization program, however. Officials said another 141,468 doses have been administered since Friday, which works out to an average of 47,156 per day.
The province has now given out 2,885,488 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, including enough first doses to cover just over 53 per cent of B.C.'s population.