20 more people die of COVID-19 in B.C., as 1,759 new cases recorded over the last 3 days
415 people in hospital with the disease, including 150 in intensive care
B.C. has recorded another 1,759 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days, and 20 more people have died of the disease, health officials announced Monday.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie provided the province's first update on the pandemic since Friday, announcing that 415 people are now in hospital with the novel coronavirus, including 150 who are in intensive care. There are 6,140 active cases across the province.
The lives lost over the weekend include two people in their 40s and two in their 50s, Henry said.
She noted that B.C.'s numbers are starting to trend in a more encouraging way, sliding downwards from the peak of the third wave.
More than two million people have now received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the number of patients in hospital has dropped by 6.7 per cent since Friday and active cases have fallen by 9.1 per cent. This weekend saw an average of 586 new cases a day, a significant drop from daily case counts over 1,000 that were seen in March and April.
Despite those trends, Henry said we're not out of the woods yet.
"We are getting to a better place in this pandemic, but we cannot let our guard down right now. We're not safe until everybody is protected," she said.
However, "we will be there in a matter of weeks," she added later in the news conference.
So far, 1,622 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., out of 136,100 cases confirmed to date.
There have been no new outbreaks in the health-care system, but a new workplace outbreak has been declared at the Sunrise Poultry plant in Surrey.
Outbreaks have been declared over at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam, leaving three active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and two in hospitals.
To date, 2,159,103 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, including 106,058 second doses.
Henry described that progress as a "tremendous accomplishment," and reminded everyone to get online as soon as possible to register for their shot.
Currently, anyone 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.
As of midnight Monday, anyone born in 1981 or earlier will be able to book their first shot. In neighbourhoods that have been identified as COVID-19 hot spots, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible.
People who are pregnant and front-line workers are also being prioritized.
British Columbians continue to remain under restrictions to curtail the spread of the virus. Non-essential travel is not permitted between three regional zones, defined by health authority boundaries, until after the May long weekend. Violators can face a fine of $575.
On Monday, Henry said she's not in a place yet to talk about when the current restrictions might be lifted, but it will depend on significantly reducing the number of deaths and patients in hospital.
Watch: Dr. Bonnie Henry looks ahead to reopening B.C.
She said a priority will be reopening restaurants for indoor dining when community spread is low, and she hopes to see larger gatherings permitted by the summer.
But Health Minister Adrian Dix urged British Columbians not to get ahead of themselves.
"It's important to live in the present," he said, meaning that everyone needs to follow public health orders and guidelines while they are in place.
With files from Courtney Dickson