British Columbia

B.C. records 54 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 new death

There are 63 people in hospital with the disease, 12 of whom are in intensive care.

There are 63 people in hospital with the disease, 12 of whom are in intensive care

People wait in line outside Canada Place for their COVID-19 vaccination in Vancouver in June. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 54 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death on Thursday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 650 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 63 people are in hospital, with 12 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 15 per cent from last Friday, when 74 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 37 per cent from a week ago.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,761 lives lost out of 148,282 confirmed cases to date.

So far, 79.4 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 48.6 per cent received their second dose.

Accessible COVID-19 vaccine clinics

In an attempt to get more people immunized against COVID-19 in the province, Vancouver Coastal Health is holding drop-in vaccination clinics in popular destinations around the city, where families go to spend their summer days.

"It can be hard to take a break from fun in the sun to travel to a vaccination clinic," VCH said in a written release on Thursday. 

"That's why this month, VCH is taking the vaccine to them at easily accessible clinics that meet people where they are, out enjoying the summer."

First doses will be prioritized for anyone 12 and older, and if there is capacity at the clinic, second doses will also be available for those who received their first dose at least seven weeks ago.

A drop-in vaccination clinic will be set up at Trout Lake Park on July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m and then again from July 19 to 23 at the Shipyards District in the North Shore.

Immunization still key, officials say

B.C. health officials have stressed the importance of vaccinations as restrictions loosen and people's activity levels increase.

British Columbians are currently in the third step of a four-step reopening plan and are permitted to travel within Canada, host and attend gatherings with no limit on the number of guests, and can return to gyms, bars and casinos.

Under the province's plan, virtually all public health orders could be removed as early as Sept. 7. 

Anyone who has not yet registered for a vaccine in B.C. can do so in the following ways:

The province is aiming to have most people get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their first.