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B.C. records lowest number of people actively battling COVID-19 infections in five weeks

Hospitalizations rose by 12 overnight, to 486 patients, with 173 of those in intensive care units. One more person has died from the virus in the province, raising the death toll to 1,597.
Bonnie Henry at podium - Adrian Dix
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry speaks to media as Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on

With recoveries outpacing new COVID-19 infections in B.C., the number of those actively battling the disease the province has fallen to a five-week low. 

New data show 7,161 people are fighting the disease in B.C. – the lowest total since March 30, and down 29% from the record 10,081 people with active infections on April 16.

Lower numbers of new infections are helping reduce the number of those fighting sickness. Health officials detected 697 new infections in the past 24 hours. This is the third day in a row that B.C. has recorded fewer than 700 new infections. Before this stretch, the last time the province discovered fewer than 700 new infections in a day was on March 23. 

By health region, here is where the 697 infections in the past three days are located:
• 142 in Vancouver Coastal Health (20.1%);
• 456 in Fraser Health (65.4%);
• 19 in Island Health (2.7%);
• 65 in Interior Health (9.3%);
• 14 in Northern Health (2%); and
• one person who resides outside Canada.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose by 12 overnight, to 486 patients, while 173 of those individuals have serious enough illnesses to be in intensive care units. 

One person is known to have died overnight while being infected with the disease, raising the province's death toll from the novel coronavirus to 1,597.

Of the 132,353 people who are known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. since the first case was detected in January, 2020, more than 93.2%, or 123,383 people are deemed by the province to have recovered. 

Officials are monitoring another 10,961 people for symptoms, because those individuals have had known contact with people who have had COVID-19. That is the lowest number of people being monitored since March 29. 

"With the additional vaccine supply now available, we are accelerating our vaccine delivery to people throughout the province to get vaccines into arms as soon as possible," Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. 

Henry and Dix have been saying for weeks that the province's vaccination campaign will ramp up in May. This has not yet happened. Health officials provided 32,832 doses of vaccine to 32,319 new people in the past day, along with 513 second doses.

While there were an average of 30,202 doses provided during the weekend and into Monday, the province has not provided data for a single day that had this few doses since April 6.

In total, health officials have provided 1,910,162 doses of vaccine to 1,817,918 people, with 92,244 of those getting needed second doses. 

The province is also allowing those who are pregnant and at least 16 years old to register on the province's Get Vaccinated website.

Henry and Dix said outbreaks at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna, and Mount St. Mary Hospital in Victoria are now over.

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

Hospital outbreaks at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Prince Rupert Regional Hospital have been declared to be over. 

That means there are now three hospitals in B.C. that have active COVID-19 outbreaks. They are:
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom