British Columbia reported one new COVID-19 death and 694 new cases of the virus, as active cases and hospitalizations trended downward again, Thursday.
It dropped the province’s seven-day average for new cases to 697, the lowest it has been since March 25.
At a live briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the number of active cases in B.C. had also fallen to 6,802, its lowest in nearly six weeks.
At some point Thursday, B.C. will also reach the milestone of two million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, Henry said.
“This is very good news,” Henry said.
“Our immunizations are going up quickly, and the ages of those who are eligible for a vaccine is coming down.”
Nearly 1.9 million people, accounting for almost 37 per cent of B.C.’s population have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Thursday, anyone aged 49 or older was eligible to book a shot.
“With the vaccines we have been receiving this week, we’re now in place where we can move very quickly down these age groups, so the important thing is for you to be registered so as soon as your age group come sup in eligibility you’ll be able to book,” Henry added.
Of the news cases, 153 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 445 were in the Fraser Health region, 17 were in the Island Health region, 52 were in the Interior Health region and 27 were in the Northern Health region.
The number of patients in hospital fell to 457, while the number of people in critical or intensive care fell to 154, their lowest in over two weeks.
“The fact that we are no longer seeing that surge of admissions is a tremendous relief, it shows that what we are doing here in B.C. right now is working, it is working to prevent transmission and save lives,” Henry said.
B.C. has reported a total of 133,619 cases since the start of the pandemic, while 1,595 people have died.
The update comes as RCMP begins setting up road checks to enforce the province’s non-essential travel restrictions, with checkpoints at four highway locations.
Fraser Health also announced Thursday that grocery store workers aged 18 and up would be eligible for the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
On Wednesday, B.C. announced it would alter its vaccination campaign to include young people, following approval of the Pfizer vaccine for youth aged 12 and up.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said B.C. had reported 684 new cases of COVID-19. Health officials have corrected that number, which is actually 694.
View link »