B.C.’s high COVID-19 infection rate continued Friday, with 1,005 new infections confirmed and the number of people in hospital up from 409 to 425 in the past 24 hours.
Intensive care cases rose to 127, and the province recorded six more coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 1,530 in B.C. since the pandemic began.
B.C.’s latest public health order banning indoor dining and group fitness is due to expire on Monday, with restaurant and pub owners told to expect that will be extended into May.
“Spending time outside is important for our physical and mental well-being,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Friday. “If you choose to see a close friend for brunch on a patio, then make sure it is the same friend every time. If you decide to have a barbecue in your backyard, then keep to your roommates or family only. Or, if you visit your neighbourhood park with another family, then make it with only one other family and do activities that allow everyone to keep a safe distance from each other.”
B.C. has reached 27 per cent of the adult population with its vaccine program, which continues with age-based vaccinations at community clinics and pharmacies administering AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged between 55 and 65 in a separate effort to reach community immunity.
“Since we last reported, we have had 259 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 536 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 49 in the Island Health region, 110 in the Interior Health region, 51 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada,” Henry and Dix said Friday.
“There are currently 5,739 cases of COVID-19 that are confirmed variants of concern in our province. Of the total cases, 212 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 3,858 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 71 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 1,810 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.”