No new deaths recorded as B.C. announces 108 more cases of COVID-19
There are 139 people in hospital with the disease, 39 of whom are in intensive care
B.C. health officials announced 108 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths on Tuesday.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 1,496 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 139 people are in hospital, including 39 in intensive care.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by nearly 32 per cent from last Tuesday, when 203 people were in hospital with the disease.
The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 32 per cent from 57 a week ago, hitting the lowest level since Nov. 8.
The continuing downward trend in B.C.'s caseload and hospitalizations comes as B.C. enters Step 2 of its reopening plan, loosening some restrictions on travel, fitness and outdoor gatherings.
"As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, our success in this next phase is dependent on all of us doing our part to keep COVID-19 low and slow," Henry and Dix said.
"If you are considering visiting another community for recreational travel, be aware that some people and some communities are moving at a slower pace — a pace that works for them. These communities may not be ready to welcome visitors at this time, so please be respectful when making any travel plans."
So far, 4,102,905 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 657,491 second doses. To date, 76.1 per cent of adults have received their first shot, and 74.4 per cent of those 12 and up.
The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,734 lives lost out of 146,561 confirmed cases to date.
Meanwhile, the outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital has been declared over.
Reopening and recreational travel
The four steps outlined by the province in its reopening plan are a roadmap through the spring and summer, paving the way for a return to family gatherings, intimate celebrations, fuller restaurants and freer travel for the first time in more than a year.
As of Tuesday, British Columbians can once again travel recreationally throughout the province; gather with up to 50 people outdoors; attend organized indoor gatherings (for example, banquets and theatre events) of up to 50 people with safety plans in place; return to faith gatherings; participate in an indoor fitness class or team sport; and order alcohol until midnight.
Masks and physical distancing are still mandatory. Personal indoor gatherings must remain small: just one additional household or five other people.
During an interview with CBC's On the Island Tuesday morning. Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick said that travel from the mainland to Vancouver Island is resuming as case counts throughout B.C. have been dropping.
That said, he expects to see cases increase locally as people from other parts of the province make their way to the island with easing restrictions.
"This is where it's going to be absolutely critical that people complete their vaccine series to make sure that they have that personal protection," he told CBC's Gregor Craigie.
"That's what you need for yourself to be sure that you're protected and feel comfortable doing all those wonderful things we normally do on Vancouver Island in the summer."
LISTEN | Island Health's chief medical health Officer on Step 2 of B.C.'s reopening
Don't hesitate to vaccinate
Health officials have stressed the importance of vaccinations to ensure the safety of all British Columbians as the province begins to relax COVID-19 restrictions.
British Columbians aged 12 and over can register in three ways:
- Online through the new Get Vaccinated portal.
- By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.
- In person at any Service B.C. location.
Anyone who booked their vaccine before the Get Vaccinated portal launched on April 6 would have used the old system and would not have been registered with the province's current online registration system.
Those people need to register now to receive an email or text notification of their second dose appointment.
The restart plan is entirely contingent on case counts dropping, hospitalizations declining and 70 per cent of the population getting vaccinated.
Immunizations are currently ahead of the curve: more than 75 per cent of eligible British Columbians had already received their first dose as of June 14.
With files from Justin McElroy and On the Island