Latest B.C. COVID-19 update includes 113 more cases, 4 deaths
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia has recorded another 113 cases of COVID-19 and four related deaths, health officials announced Wednesday.
The province has identified 146,674 coronavirus infections and suffered 1,738 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
Wednesday's update continued B.C.'s trend of decreasing case numbers, leaving the province's rolling weekly average at 119 per day.
The active caseload shrunk to 1,454 and COVID-19 hospitalizations fell to 134, though the number of patients in intensive care increased slightly to 41.
Health officials have credited much of that progress to widespread vaccinations. The province has so far administered 4,154,132 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, including enough first doses for 76 per cent of the adult population.
B.C. has achieved "some of the highest levels of immunization for Dose 1 in the world," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint written statement.
"And we have the ability to push that even higher," they said. "If you haven’t yet had a chance to book your first dose, please take a moment to do that today. Equally important, encourage those around you to do the same."
Health officials also stressed the importance of getting fully protected with both doses of vaccine, which is where the province's focus has shifted in recent days. Of the 62,237 shots administered from Tuesday to Wednesday, about 86 per cent were second doses.
"Getting fully immunized is the best way for us to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. It is how we protect our family and friends, the people at our favourite store or local theatre, as well as the communities we want to visit this summer," Henry and Dix said.
The province is still giving out first doses as well, including to youths between the ages of 12 and 17. As of Monday, half of that age cohort had received their first shot.
Increasing vaccinations along with decreasing case and hospitalization numbers allowed the government to move into Step 2 of its restart plan on Tuesday, allowing for recreational travel provincewide, increased liquor hours at bars and restaurants, high-intensity indoor fitness classes, and larger outdoor gatherings.
Health officials have said the first two weeks under the relaxed restrictions – which is the incubation period for new cases of COVID-19 to emerge – will determine whether B.C. can enter Step 3 at the beginning of July.
Of all the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 across the province so far, about 98 per cent have recovered.