Canada

COVID-19 update: B.C. reports 2,491 cases, 17 deaths from the weekend

VANCOUVER —
British Columbia recorded another 2,491 cases of COVID-19 and 17 related deaths over the weekend, health officials announced Monday.

The province has now identified a total of 126,249 coronavirus infections and suffered 1,571 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

“As always, our condolences and our thoughts go out to families who have lost a loved one during this pandemic, and also to the care providers and the communities,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “Our thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.”

Officials said two of the latest victims were over the age of 90, while seven were between 80 and 89, five were between 70 and 79, two were between 60 and 69, and one person was between 50 and 59.

Only one was living in a long-term care home.

“This shows us how devastating this virus can be on people who are older,” Henry said.

Health officials also confirmed, for the first time, that COVID-19 was a factor in the death of a baby back in January. Henry said the infant, whose family is from the Interior Health region, was being treated at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver at the time.

The death was announced Monday because the coroner’s investigation into the death just concluded, Henry said.

“This is, of course, the youngest death that we have had, tragically, in our province from COVID-19,” the provincial health officer added.

“The family has been notified and Interior Health is working with them. And the privacy, of course, of the family is paramount and we won’t be adding any additional information.”

Previously, the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in B.C. was a toddler under the age of two whose death was announced just last week.

Of the new cases identified over the weekend, 881 were recorded from Friday to Saturday, followed by 847 from Saturday to Sunday and 763 from Sunday to Monday.

While the province’s daily case counts remain high, B.C.’s epidemiological curve has been bending back downward in recent days. The rolling weekly average for new infections continued dropping over the weekend, reaching 887 per day on Monday – the lowest it’s been since April 2.

Henry also announced another 3,102 people have recovered from COVID-19, leaving the province’s active caseload at 8,199. That’s down from 8,842 on Friday, and an all-time high of 10,081 on April 16.

Hospitalizations dipped slightly to 484, down from a record of 502 last Thursday, with 158 patients in intensive care.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are being vaccinated per day. Another 93,306 doses of vaccine have been administered since Friday – an average of 31,102 per day – bringing B.C.’s total to 1,635,372.

That includes 1,546,337 first doses, which is enough to protect about 30 per cent of the province’s population, and 89,035 second doses.

But Henry stressed that the province is far from having what’s sometimes called “community immunity,” or herd immunity, and that people who have just received their first dose need two to three weeks for the vaccine to take effect.

“It will be a time before we can get to that place where all of us can let our guard down,” she said. “We all, right now, need to continue to do those things that prevent transmission of the virus.”

For the time being, that means avoiding indoor social gatherings, staying close to home and following all of B.C.’s current public health orders.


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