B.C. death toll from COVID-19 rises by two, to 1,749

Hospitalizations return to a level not seen since November 6

B.C.'s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses media | B.C. government

B.C. is showing success at flattening the curve of new COVID-19 infections, but residents continue to die from the disease that has spawned a global pandemic. 

The province's death toll rose to 1,749 overnight, as two more COVID-19 patients died. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix did not provide any demographic information about those who died. 

They did, however, warn everyone to take care during what is expected to be "extremely hot weather throughout the province," in a joint statement. 

Serious infections have been trending downward. Hospitalizations fell by five overnight, to 108, which is the same number as four days ago. There have not been fewer British Columbians in hospitals with COVID-19 since November 6. Of the 108 people in hospital with the disease, 37 are in intensive care units, which is three more than yesterday. 

There has now been a decline in the number of active COVID-19 infections in B.C. in each of the past 44 provincial data updates. The 1,096 active cases today is the lowest total since August 28, when there were 974 such people. 

Helping hospitalizations stay low has been a declining average number of new cases.

B.C. health officials detected 72 new COVID-19 infections overnight in the seventh straight day when the number of new cases was less than 100. The last time this has happened was in August.

By health region, the newly detected cases include:
• 24 in Vancouver Coastal Health (33.3%);
• 29 in Fraser Health (40.3%);
• four in Island Health (5.6%);
• 13 in Interior Health (18%); and
• two cases in Northern Health (2.8%).

With 6,424 tests conducted in the past day, the province achieved a 1.12% positive-test rate. That is the lowest positive-test rate for a day in which data was released by the province since October. 

More than 98%, or 144,554 of the 147,418 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. are deemed by the province to have recovered. This is because they have gone at least 10 days after first exhibiting symptoms, and health officials no longer deem them infectious. 

In the past day, health officials have provided 51,462 doses of vaccine, which is substantially below the 81,934 doses administered the previous day. 

Of the new vaccine doses, only 6,369 went to unvaccinated people, while 45,093 went to people as needed second doses. 

In total, since the first dose in B.C. was provided on December 16, B.C. officials have administered 4,703,549 doses of vaccine to 3,536,432 people, with 1,167,117 of those getting needed second doses. 

Henry and Dix's math holds that this is 77.6% of all B.C. adults, and 76.2% of all British Columbians aged at least 12 years. 

Officials have detected a COVID-19 outbreak at Laurel Place seniors' home in Surrey. 

That means that there are now five active outbreaks at B.C. seniors' homes:
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Hollyburn House in West Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond;
• Glenwood Seniors' Community in Agassiz; and
• Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek.

There is also an active outbreak at Port Moody's Eagle Ridge Hospital. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom