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No new deaths in B.C.'s latest COVID-19 update, a day after dozens announced

File image: A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward) File image: A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

B.C.'s latest COVID-19 update came with some welcome news: There have been no coronavirus-related deaths reported in the province over the last 24 hours.

The number of test-positive patients in hospital remained almost static at 986, while the number of those in intensive care climbed to 146, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday.

The lack of fatalities was a stark change from the weekend, which saw 32 COVID-19 deaths reported over three days. That pushed the province's seven-day average for coronavirus deaths to 13 per day, the highest it's been since Dec. 31, 2020.

Officials also announced one new health-care facility outbreak, at Rest Haven Lodge. Three others were declared over, leaving 55 active outbreaks in the health-care system, most at long-term care homes.

B.C. also confirmed 1,117 new cases of COVID-19, causing the seven-day average for infections to decrease to 1,357.

Daily case numbers have been trending downward for weeks, and while they are considered a fraction of the actual tally – largely because the province has stopped testing most healthy people – the government believes transmission has been declining.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has pointed to decreasing test-positivity and wastewater monitoring as evidence that the spread is slowing.

Improving conditions have already led some other provinces to announce plans to lift proof-of-vaccination requirements. B.C. has not followed suit – the vaccine card system is currently scheduled to remain in place until the end of June – but Premier John Horgan has hinted that changes to the province's restrictions could be coming.

On Tuesday, Horgan stressed that those decisions will be made based on public health advice, and not pressure from protesters.

"With respect to other jurisdictions, everybody's addressed this in a different way," he added. "I'll put our record up against all the other provinces in the country."

Northern Health had the highest infection rate per capita of all the health authorities, at 63.5 per 100,000 population. Interior Health had a rate of 45.9 per 100,000, followed by Island Health at 20.2, Vancouver Coastal Health at 14.4, and Fraser Health at 9.7.

As a whole, Northern Health and Interior Health have the lowest vaccination rates of the province, with some pockets still well below 80 per cent, even for first doses.

Province-wide, 90.3 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age five and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 84.7 per cent have received two. Among adults, 53.3 per cent have also received a third dose or booster shot. Top Stories


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