British Columbia

B.C. announces 572 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest total since mid-March

B.C. health officials announced 572 more cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths on Wednesday.

There are 481 people in hospital with the disease, 161 of whom are in intensive care

Hundreds of people wait in a line at a vaccine pop-up clinic at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, B.C., on April 27, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C.'s curve continued to bend down Wednesday as health officials announced 572 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest total since March 20.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are 6,877 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C.

The province recorded no new deaths. 

Hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, remain high at 481, with 161 of those people in intensive care. 

 

Overall hospitalizations are down by roughly seven per cent from last Wednesday, when 515 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about six per cent from 171 a week ago.

 

The province introduced a "circuit breaker"-style lockdown on March 29, which included a pause on indoor dining and indoor adult group fitness activities. 

Henry said this week the province is starting to see the efforts of those restrictions, which remain in place until May 25. 

The provincial death toll from the disease stands at 1,594.

The province did not have data available Wednesday on the number of people under public health monitoring. 

Henry and Dix said COVID-19 outbreaks at the Craigdarroch Care Home in Victoria and Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert, B.C., are now over.

Teens to be immunized 

As of Wednesday, 1,943,230 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 93,656 of those being second doses. About 43 per cent of eligible British Columbians have now received a first dose. 

Henry confirmed Wednesday that teens will now be part of B.C.'s immunization plan.

Earlier that day, Health Canada approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on people 12 to 15 years old. It's the first vaccine to be authorized for use in this younger age category.

 

The vaccine was already approved for people 16 and older, but B.C. had only set aside vaccines for those aged 16 and 17 who are clinically vulnerable. 

Henry said about 300,000 people between the ages of 12 and 17 in B.C. will now be eligible to receive vaccines.

She said kids could possibly could get them before the end of the school year, although the details still need to be sorted out. 

 

The province also announced Tuesday that pregnant British Columbians aged 16 and older are now eligible to book a shot.

Online appointments aren't available for people who are pregnant, but they can call the province's booking line at 1-833-838-2323 to secure a slot

Everyone 18 and older in British Columbia can register for their vaccination now if they have not already done so. This can be done online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in person at any Service B.C. location.

Registering for a vaccine is not the same as booking the appointment to get your shot. Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they are eligible and can then book their vaccine appointment using that code. 

With files from John Paul Tasker and Bridgette Watson

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