Active COVID-19 infections in B.C. drop in 17th straight update

Two more deaths raise province's death toll from COVID-19 to 1,650

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry speaks to media | Photo: B.C. government

B.C.'s appears to be winning its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, with several important metrics on the decline. 

The number of those actively battling COVID-19 infections has now declined in each of the past 17 provincial updates, and now stands at 4,890 – the lowest number since March 17. 

Helping keep the number of active infections down has been a steady decline in the number of new infections getting diagnosed. Only 411 people were newly diagnosed as having COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. B.C. has not recorded so few new infections since March 8. 

The Fraser Health region continues to be the part of the province with the highest number of new cases.

By health region, the 411 new infections include:
• 37 in Vancouver Coastal Health (9%);
• 285 in Fraser Health (69.3%);
• 12 in Island Health (2.9%);
• 69 in Interior Health (16.7%); and
• eight in Northern Health (1.9%).

There have now been a total of 140,075 British Columbians diagnosed as having COVID-19 since the first case was identified in late January, 2020. Of those, more than 95.2%, or 133,383 people are deemed by the province to have recovered.

The province's way of determining who is recovered is based on a determination of who is infectious, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry explained last week. People who are self-isolating are given 10 days from the date that they first start exhibiting symptoms. As long as they are continuing to improve, they are declared to have recovered at that 10-day mark. 

The number of those hospitalized increased by 10 overnight, to 360, with 127 of those people in intensive care units (ICU). The number of people in ICU is down by five from yesterday. 

With two more people losing their lives to COVID-19 in B.C., the province's death toll from the disease has risen to 1,650.

The province's vaccination effort was ramping up, and a week ago, on May 11, 60,753 doses were administered. In the past four days, health officials have provided an average of only 43,418 doses per day. 

In the past 24 hours, they gave jabs in 38,538 arms, with 36,774 people getting first doses of vaccine, and 1,764 people getting needed second doses. 

"The more people who get vaccinated, the safer we all are, which is why we want to break the record books on immunizations in our province," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. 

In total, the province has now provided 2,566,936 vaccine doses to 2,435,099 people, with 131,837 people being fully vaccinated with two doses. 

All people in B.C. who are 18 years old, and older, are eligible to book appointments to get vaccinated.

One new COVID-19 outbreak at a seniors' home is at Cherington Place in Surrey. 

That means, there are now four outbreaks at seniors' homes in B.C.:
• Cherington Place in Surrey;
• Orchard Haven in Keremeos;
• Sandalwood Retirement Resort in Kelowna; and
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

The two B.C. hospitals with active COVID-19 outbreaks are Dawson Creek and District Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom