British Columbia

B.C. records 84 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 new deaths over last 2 days

There are 99 people in hospital with the disease, 30 of whom are in intensive care.

There are 99 people in hospital with the disease, 30 of whom are in intensive care

Groups of people are pictured at a park in Vancouver on July 1, the day B.C. entered Step 3 of its reopening. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths on Friday.

Those numbers include 49 new cases from June 30 to July 1 and 35 new cases in the last 24 hours. 

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 729 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 99 people are in hospital, with 30 in intensive care. The number of patients in intensive care is down from 34 on Wednesday.

So far, 5,124,693 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 1,526,711 second doses. That means 78.7 per cent of all adults and 77.5 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received at least one dose. About 35 per cent of adults have received second doses.

Officials say there is one new outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. The outbreak at Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz is now over. 

B.C. now in Step 3 of reopening

High COVID-19 vaccination rates and a dramatic drop in cases led the province to enter the third phase of its reopening plan on Thursday. The pandemic state of emergency also lifted Thursday, having been in effect since March 18, 2020.

Residents can go to dinner indoors and outdoors without a limit on numbers, and attend fairs and festivals by following communicable disease measures, such as staying away if they're sick.

Under Step 3 of the reopening, recreational travel within Canada is permitted again, as are indoor and outdoor personal gatherings with no limit on the number of people who can join. Kids can again have sleepovers with their friends.

The reopening also began as the first major long weekend of the summer arrived. BC Ferries reported multiple-sailing waits Thursday as travellers took advantaged of loosened rules.

Masks are no longer mandatory before further restrictions are removed in September.

Although masks aren't required, Henry has encouraged people to continue wearing them in all indoor places. She said Wednesday that masks remain an important layer of protection until more people have immunity from two doses of a vaccine.

With a file from Canadian Press