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B.C. sees COVID-19 hospitalizations, active infections and new cases fall

No new deaths keep the province's pandemic death toll at 1,597 people.
Bonnie with Adrian fuzzed in background
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses media as Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on

New data contains good news for B.C.'s effort to control the spread and the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of hospitalizations, active infections and new cases are all on the decline, while there were also no new deaths linked to the disease, according to B.C. government data released May 5. B.C.'s death toll from the disease remains at 1,597.

Health officials detected 572 new infections in the past day, which is the lowest number of new cases since March 20, more than six weeks ago. With 10,354 tests conducted, the positive-test rate in the past day was 5.5% – the lowest that it has been for a 24-hour period for which data is available, since February 25.

By health region, the 572 new infections include:
• 118 in Vancouver Coastal Health (20.6%);
• 362 in Fraser Health (63.2%);
• 22 in Island Health (3.8%);
• 57 in Interior Health (10%); and
• 13 in Northern Health (2.2%).

This raises the total number of COVID-19 infections detected in B.C. to 132,935, since the first case was detected in January, 2020. Of those, nearly 93.5%, or 124,252 people are deemed by the province to have recovered.

The number of those who are actively battling infections fell for the eighth straight day, to 6,877 – the lowest total since March 26. 

The number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals fell by five, to 481, with 161 of those in intensive care units – 12 fewer than yesterday.

Despite Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry repeatedly saying that the province's vaccination effort would be ramping up in May, health officials only provided 33,068 doses of vaccine to 31,656 new people, with 1,412 getting needed second shots. These numbers remain far below the record 46,227 doses of vaccine to 46,157 new people, and 70 second doses provided on April 16.

Second vaccinations have started to climb, as the 1,412 second doses provided in the past day is the highest number of those jabs in arms since March 2, before the province decided to focus on providing as many first doses as possible and extending the second-dose timetable to be up to 16 weeks after first doses. 

In total, health officials in B.C. have provided 1,943,230 doses to 1,849,574 people, with 93,656 individuals getting two doses. 

"As more people become eligible and more vaccines are approved, we will continue to update our province-wide program, including integrating people 12 to 17 years old, now that the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine has been approved for use in this age group," Henry and Dix said in a joint statement. 

"With additional supply now available, we're accelerating our delivery."

Other good news is that the outbreaks at Craigdarroch Care Home in Victoria, and Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert are now over.

That means that there are four active COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term living, or seniors' homes in B.C. They are:
• Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam; 
• Orchard Haven in Keremeos;
• Sandalwood Retirement Resort in Kelowna; and
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

The three B.C. hospitals with active COVID-19 outbreaks are:
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom