Government data shows B.C.'s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province are having an effect.
Health officials overnight recorded the lowest number of new infections since October 20, 32 weeks ago: 184. The number of people actively battling COVID-19 infections fell for the 27th consecutive data update, and now sits at 2,800 – a level not seen since October 30. Other good news was that for the first time since May 5, the province had no new deaths to report, which keeps the province's death toll from the disease at 1,703.
The Fraser Health region remains the province's hot spot for new cases.
By health region, the 184 infections in the past day includes:
• 48 in Vancouver Coastal Health (26%);
• 113 in Fraser Health (61.4%);
• one in Island Health (0.5%);
• 19 in Interior Health (10.3%);
• two in Northern Health (1%); and
• one in a person who regularly resides outside the province.
The vast majority of the 2,800 people known to be actively infected have been told to self-isolate, although 254 are in hospital, which is up by five from yesterday. Of those hospitalized, 80 are in intensive care units, which is up by two from yesterday.
Of the 144,473 known infections in B.C. since January, 2020, more than 96.8%, or 139,899 people are deemed by the province to have recovered because they are not thought to be infectious.
Vaccinations were up slightly yesterday, with a total of 53,173 jabs in arms, with 41,905 of those doses going to unvaccinated people, while 11,268 others received a second dose of vaccine.
The new doses raise the provincial total to 3,303,334 doses to 3,112,112 people, with 191,222 of those getting needed second doses.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement that 70.4% of all adults in B.C., and 67% of all residents older than 12, have had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
They referred to Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) declaring earlier today that those who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine are eligible to choose to get an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose. People who received a first dose of one type of mRNA vaccine are expected to safely receive another mRNA vaccine for their second dose, and not switch to get a dose of AstraZeneca.
"NACI confirmed the safety and effectiveness of interchanging vaccines and reaffirmed the recommendation to prioritize second doses for those at highest risk of severe illness and death," Henry and Dix said.
"Building on the plan for second doses of mRNA vaccines shared last week, this latest guidance will help inform the approach we take here in B.C."
There remain five outbreaks at seniors' homes, including:
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Cherington Place in Surrey;
• Heritage Manor in Fort St. John;
• Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport in Richmond; and
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna
The only active outbreak at a B.C. hospital is at Richmond Hospital in Richmond.