B.C. health officials on Monday reported 277 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days as well as four new deaths.
There were 96 cases from Friday to Saturday — the first time the daily case count has dipped below 100 since early October.
Another 113 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, while 68 cases were reported from Sunday to Monday. The latter is the lowest one-day total the province has reported since late September.
Of the new cases, 36 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 148 were in the Fraser Health region, 12 were in Island Health, 63 were in Interior Health, and 16 were in Northern Health.
The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 2.6 per cent. A month ago, the average was around seven per cent.
The four deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,734.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dipped by 26 to 136. Of those patients, 42 were in intensive care — a decrease of three from Friday.
There are now 1,537 active cases of the disease in B.C.
Nearly 76 per cent of all adults in B.C., and 74.1 per cent of those 12 and older, have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the province said Monday. Around 14 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
The numbers come hours after officials announced the province is moving to Step 2 of its COVID-19 restart plan on Tuesday.
The second step of the plan to ease restrictions allows for outdoor personal gatherings of up to 50 people and for children to have playdates.
Indoor religious ceremonies can be held at 10 per cent of the building’s capacity or at 50 people – whichever number is bigger.
Recreational travel within B.C. is allowed, but the out-of-province, non-essential travel advisory continues.
BC Transit and BC Ferries will also be able to offer increased service as needed.
Step 3 of the restart plan could begin as early as July 1.
“We may need to slow going forward depending on what happens, and this next couple of weeks will be very key for that, and right now the public health orders are still in place,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday.
Henry said she is confident B.C. will move onto steps three and four in the plan, but that she will monitor COVID-19 transmission rates all the same.
“There are always things that are unknown,” she said. “We are watching very carefully. I don’t expect, with what we know now, we’ll have to go back.”
— With files from Amy Judd, Richard Zussman and The Canadian PressView link »