COVID-19 numbers continue to drop as B.C. records 183 new cases and 1 more death
There are 224 people in hospital with the disease, 59 of whom are in intensive care
B.C. health officials announced 183 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Friday.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 2,453 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 224 people are in hospital, with 59 in intensive care — the lowest ICU number that B.C. has seen this year.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 23 per cent from last Friday, when 292 people were in hospital with the disease. The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 25 per cent from 79 a week ago
The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,710 lives lost out of 145,049 confirmed cases.
Health officials have confirmed one new outbreak of COVID-19 at Kelowna General Hospital.
So far, 3,488,884 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 256,725 second doses. More than 72 per cent of B.C. adults and nearly 70 per cent of people over the age of 12 have now received their first shot.
"Our goal is to get as many people as possible fully vaccinated with their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as we can. This is what will help us control the spread of the virus in our communities," Henry and Dix said.
"We are grateful for the many people in every part of our province who have stepped forward without pause to get their first, and now their second, dose. Demand for vaccine is high, and this is very good for all of us."
Dr. Reka Gustafson of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) said she's optimistic about the declining case counts and rising vaccination numbers.
"I have often said that immunization is considered to be the greatest public health achievement of the 20th century," she told On the Coast host Gloria Macarenko.
2nd dose scenarios
Henry provided further information this week on how B.C. residents will receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, reiterating guidelines released earlier this week from the NationaI Advisory Committee on Immunization about mixing certain vaccine types.
Henry said it is safe and effective to receive a different type of mRNA vaccine for a second dose where necessary because they use similar technology.
She said people who received the Moderna vaccine for their first dose may elect to have Pfizer for their second dose, because of a "temporary issue" with Moderna's vaccine supply.
Henry also said those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose may either obtain a second dose of AstraZeneca through a pharmacy or receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine through a mass vaccination clinic.
With files from Bridgette Watson, On The Coast and Justin McElroy