B.C. on track to ease more restrictions next week as health officials cite ‘dramatic drop’ in cases

153 new cases and 4 more deaths as hospitalizations hit lowest point since November 14

Another 153 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in B.C. and four more people have died from the disease, health officials announced Thursday, as they reported a “dramatic decline in transmission in recent weeks”. “It was spoken of.

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry announced during the live briefing that there are now 1,910 active cases of the novel coronavirus across BC.

A total of 176 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 49 in intensive care, he said. This is the lowest number of patients with the disease in the hospital since November 14.

Henry presented new epidemiological modeling on Thursday, showing that many communities in BC have recently seen “small to no cases” of the virus.

“Since mid-April, we have had a dramatic drop in cases overall,” Henry said. She said there was a decline in hospitalizations.

However, parts of the Lower Mainland are still seeing significant transmission, along with external hot spots such as the Grand Forks.

“It reminds us that transmission can still happen if we are not careful,” Henry said.

The decline in cases is similar to a fall in the test positivity rate and fertility rate, which measure the number of new infections that result from each COVID-19 case.

Across the province, the average person diagnosed with the disease is transmitting the virus to less than one person, which Henry described as a huge success.

She said BC is in a good position to move on to the next phase of plans to reopen on a target date of June 15.

“I’m optimistic in a way that I haven’t in a long time,” she said.

look | Dr. Bonnie Henry discusses the possibility of increasing the number of cases

Henry also presented modeling that suggests the number of daily cases this summer could decrease or even increase as people begin to have more social interactions. But she said she does not expect the virus to be widely transmitted in B.C. communities and is confident that public health can manage a small uptick through vaccinations and other measures.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s modeling presentation confirms that the COVID-19 variant of concern in BC has taken over, with the alpha (b.1.1.7) variant being reported for the first time in 54 per cent of cases in the UK. In and gamma (P1) variants have been previously identified. Brazil saw an increase of 42 percent. However, the delta (b.1.617.2) variant, first identified in India, has been increasing in prevalence and currently accounts for about four per cent of cases.

Reduce vaccine intake in younger age groups

Henry said that in BC only three-quarters of adults received their first dose of the vaccine, while 72.8 percent of those over the age of 12 received a shot.

A total of 3,823,103 shots have now gone into the arms in BC, including 443,562 second doses. Henry said B.C. is now administering COVID-19 vaccines at a rate of about 325,000 shots each week.

Although the speed of vaccination varies throughout the province, with much lower rates in places such as the northeast of BC, Henry said that every region now has at least one dose with at least one over the age of 12. 50% people have been affected.

The data they shared shows that while older age groups have started reducing levels of about 80 percent of people taking their shots, this leveling off is happening at a lower percentage among younger people.

For example, the vaccination rate for people in their 30s is slowing to something near 70 percent.

Henry said the plan is to have a targeted campaign to make sure young people get their vaccine when they are eligible.

Asked when the vaccines might be approved for use in children under 12, he said studies on safety and effectiveness are ongoing, and results are expected in the fall.

However, she said, there is solid data showing that for every 20 percent increase in vaccinated adults, more children and people with compromised immune systems are protected — even if they haven’t been vaccinated.

get vaccinated now

British Columbians who are eligible to receive the vaccine and who do not have the vaccine are now encouraged to do so.

As of June 3, anyone 12 years of age and above can register in three ways:

Read more about registration here.

Most people in the province will now be able to receive a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their first.

Henry said those waiting for their second dose may have to wait up to three weeks for an appointment, but he has no concerns about the safety of the delay.

Anyone who had received their vaccine before the Get Vaccinated portal, which was launched on April 6, would have booked through the old system and would not have registered with the province’s current online registration system.

those people need register now To receive email or text notification of their second dose appointment.

If you’re not sure you’re registered, Henry said there’s “no problem” with registering more than once.

According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, Canadians who received the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer can take either as a second dose because they both use the same mRNA technology.

People who have received AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose can choose to either receive AstraZeneca through a pharmacy for their second dose, or receive a second dose of mRNA vaccine through a mass vaccination clinic .

Pfizer is still the only vaccine approved for people between the ages of 12 and 17.

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