New COVID infections in B.C. fall to only eight in past day

The number of new infections has not been this low since early March

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses reporters | B.C. government

B.C. on May 5 recorded eight new cases of COVID-19 – the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in a day since March 12.

The total number of cases is now at 2,232, with almost 66% of those, or 1,472 people having recovered, according to provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.

There are 78 people in hospital, with 21 people in intensive care units, as a result of the virus that has caused the global pandemic.

Four people have died from the virus in the past day, with a total of 121 people dying from the virus since it first appeared in the province in late January. 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by B.C. health region are: 
•  849 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
•  1,031 in Fraser Health;
•  124 in Island Health;
•  177 in Interior Health; and
•  51 in Northern Health.

Community outbreaks continue to be the largest clusters of cases.

The largest community outbreak is at the medium-security Mission Institution, where there have been 134 cases, including 121 in inmates and 13 in staff.

Three poultry facilities have active outbreaks, according to Henry. There are seven cases at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, 35 cases at East Vancouver's United Poultry and 55 cases at Coquitlam's Superior Poultry. 

Fraser Health had disclosed an outbreak at Port Coquitlam's Sofina Foods poultry facility but Henry did not mention that outbreak in her May 5 briefing. 

There are 22 active outbreaks at seniors' homes, including one new outbreak, at North Vancouver's Evergreen House, Henry said. There are 17 outbreaks at seniors' homes that are declared over. That list of homes with extinguished outbreaks includes Lynn Valley Care Centre, which had a particularly serious outbreak and recorded the first case of COVID-19 in a seniors' home in the province. 

In the past day, new cases have also been recorded at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge, and Richmond Hospital in Richmond.

The province continues to postpone scheduled surgeries and allocate a significant number of hospital beds for a potential spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Provincewide, there are 3,959 beds waiting empty for COVID-19 patients. That means that hospital occupancy is at about 64.5% capacity, down from about 103% capacity before the COVID-19 pandemic. Intensive care units are about 46.6% full, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix. 

Despite the deep reduction in hospital occupancy, hospital staff have been kept busy. 

"There are no savings to speak of," said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

"We didn't say because we're not doing certain procedures right now that those people can go home. We are fully in place and ready to provide care."

The number of hospitalized people by health region are:
•  29 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
•  39 in Fraser Health;
•  3 in Island Health;
•  4 in Interior Health; and
•  3 in Northern Health.