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New COVID-19 cases in B.C. plunge to 68 in past day

Hospitalizations, ICU patients, active infections are all at months lows.
Bonnie Henry restart - better resolution
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addressed media earlier today

B.C.'s success in combatting COVID-19 is clear based on many metrics used to chart the spread of the pandemic. 

Most strikingly, provincial health officials detected 68 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The province has not had such a low daily total since September 26, when there were also 68 cases discovered. The total for a day has not been lower than 68 since September 14, when officials discovered 61 new cases.

Mondays, however, tend to have slightly lower numbers of new cases than on other days because there is less lab work done on Sundays. 

Daily case counts have been trending downward. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix released data for the past three days that show a total of 277 new cases in that time period. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. have fallen by 26 from three days ago, to 136 – the lowest total since November 9. Of those, 42 individuals are sick enough to be in intensive care units, and that is the lowest total since November 7.

The number of those actively fighting COVID-19 infections has fallen in the 36th consecutive data update, to 1,537 – the lowest total since October 16. The vast majority of those have been told to self-isolate. 

Of the 146,453 people who are known to have contracted COVID-19 since the first case was detected in late January, 2020, nearly 97.8%, or 143,147 are deemed by the province to have recovered because they are not thought to be infectious. 

Sadly, four more people have died from the disease in the past three days, raising the province's death toll from the pandemic to 1,734.

Fueling the declining trends for new cases, hospitalizations, active infections and other metrics is a steady rise in the proportion of British Columbians who have been vaccinated. 

Provincial officials and pharmacists provided a combined total of 154,765 doses of vaccine in the past three days, with 39,244 of those going to unvaccinated people, and the remaining 115,521 doses being needed second doses. 

In total, B.C. has now passed the four-million mark for doses, as 4,048,346 jabs in arms have taken place since the first shot was given on December 16. There are now 3,434,893 British Columbians who have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 613,453 are considered fully vaccinated because they have received two doses. 

Henry and Dix's number crunching holds that 75.9% of all B.C. adults have now had at least one jab, while 74.1% of all residents aged 12 years and older have received at least one dose. 

By health region, the 277 infections discovered in the past three days include:
• 36 in Vancouver Coastal Health (13%);
• 148 in Fraser Health (53.4%);
• 12 in Island Health (4.3%);
• 63 in Interior Health (22.7%);
• 16 in Northern Health (5.8%); and
• two, who normally reside outside the province.

"The outbreaks at Richmond Hospital, Richmond Lions Manor Bridgeport and the Iqra Islamic school are now over," Henry and Dix said.

There are five active outbreaks at seniors' homes. They are:
• Cherington Place in Surrey;
• Glenwood Seniors' Community in Agassiz;
• Heritage Manor in Fort St. John;
• Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek;
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

The only active outbreak at a B.C. hospital is now at Kelowna General Hospital.

Earlier today, Premier John Horgan joined Henry, Dix and others to announce that the planned shift to what the province calls its Step 2 of its Restart Plan will go into effect tomorrow

The U.K., in contrast, learned today that its restrictions are being extended. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he would extend restrictions in his country until July 19, from what had been June 21, because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant, first discovered in India. 

Henry said B.C.'s situation is different from that in the U.K. because more young people have had at least one dose of vaccine. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom