Active COVID-19 cases in B.C. fall 20% in past week

Only 317 people have the coronavirus in B.C. and have not yet recovered, down from 397 a week ago

Bonnie Henry May 20
B.C.'s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addressed media earlier this week | B.C. government

The number of people in B.C. who have been infected with COVID-19 but have not yet recovered, or died, has dropped more than 20% in the past week, according to data that the B.C. government released May 20.

The province noted that there are 317 "active" cases of people with the virus. That is down nearly 20.2% from a week ago, on May 13, when 397 people had the virus and had not yet recovered, or died.

This metric is important in showing the extent of the virus in the province and the likelihood that new people will be infected with the virus because the fewer people there are who are alive and are infectious with the virus, the less chance there is that uninfected people will come into contact with the virus. 

The number of people carrying the virus who have not recovered, or died, has dropped every day this week in which the government has released data: to 372 on May 14, 359 on May 15, 355 after the two-day period ending May 17, 335 on May 18 and 325 on May 19.

The number of newly infected people in a 24-hour period, however, jumped on May 20, to 21 cases. The province recorded a months-low total of two new cases in a 24-hour period yesterday. The total number of people in B.C. who have been infected with the virus that has caused a global pandemic is now 2,467. The number of people who have recovered passed the 2,000 threshold and is now at 2,001, up from 1975 yesterday. That means that more than 81.1% of people who have been infected with the virus have recovered.

Only 43 people are in hospital, and 10 of those have cases serious enough to be in intensive care units. Others are self-isolating at home.

There were three new deaths identified in the past 24 hours, for a death toll of 149 people since the virus arrived in B.C. in late January. 

"There has been one new health-care outbreak at The Cedars in Mission assisted-living facility," Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement. 

They declared that both outbreaks at Ridge Meadows Hospital are over. In total, 15 long-term care or assisted-living facilities, and three acute-care units have active outbreaks.

"Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at the Oppenheimer Group, those in the poultry sector, at the Mission Institution and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta," Dix and Henry said. 

The breakdown of all infections by health region is:
•  885 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up two from yesterday);
•  1,214 in Fraser Health (up 18 from yesterday);
•  126 in Island Health;
•  182 in Interior Health (up one from yesterday); and
•   60 in Northern Health.