Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference, March 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference, March 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. hospitalization from COVID-19 declining, 54 in intensive care

153 new cases confirmed Thursday, four additional deaths

B.C. public health officials reported 153 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, the fifth straight day below 200, and hospitalizations continue to decline with increased vaccination.

There are 176 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions, down from 195 on Wednesday, and 49 in intensive care. There were four additional deaths in the 24 hours up to June 10, for a total of 1,729 since the pandemic began.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said two of the four deaths were in people older than 80, one in their 50s and one in their 60s, reflecting increased risk in older people. That trend is also evident in younger people.

“We’ve had no deaths and very few hospitalizations in school aged children,” Henry said. “Hospitalization is 10 times lower in children than in adults.”

Henry said B.C.’s vaccination clinics are now delivering 325,000 doses per week, using all available weekly vaccine supplies as second-dose appointments continue with high demand. Additional supplies of Moderna vaccine are expected to arrive starting next week.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s latest modelling data show that the key public health measure for infection, the reproduction rate that shows how many people catch the virus from each infected person, is below one and falling in all areas of the province.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Premier John Horgan will participate in Monday’s briefing, to announce if step two and three of B.C.’s restart plan are going ahead as scheduled. With stable and declining public health indicators, it includes a return to province-wide recreational travel and indoor seated gatherings up to 50 people effective Tuesday, June 15 and an easing of mandatory mask restrictions as soon as July 1.

“I’m confident that we can take this step as long as we increase our contacts in a slow and measured way,” Henry said.

RELATED: Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 restart plan

RELATED: B.C. study shows good results from one dose of mRNA vaccine

While overall infection is declining, the variants of concern tracked by public health agencies world wide are now most of the new cases.

The Alpha variant, first identified in Britain, accounts for 54 per cent of B.C. cases in 2021, while the Gamma variant, identified first in Brazil, was found in 42 per cent of the sample infections analyzed in B.C. The Delta variant, from India, has grown to four per cent of cases and has increased in April and May since it was first detected.

Of the 153 new cases, 21 were confirmed in the Vancouver Coastal health region, 73 in Fraser Health, 11 on Vancouver Island, 39 in Interior Health and nine in Northern Health.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Victoria police are looking for the owner of a pink and white bike they recovered in North Park. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for owner of child’s bike

Officers recovered the pink and white bike in North Park

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

A single-vehicle incident impacted the morning commute on the Pat Bay Highway. (Black Press Media file photo)
TRAFFIC: Single-vehicle incident closes section of Pat Bay

Northbound traffic down to one lane, southbound reopened

Four residents and two cats were displaced from their home in James Bay when a fire broke out Sunday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
No injuries in James Bay house fire

Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday

Construction will begin soon on a building in Victoria designed for families and seniors with low to moderate household incomes. (Black Press Media file photo)
New building in Victoria aimed at providing more affordable homes for families, seniors

Four-storey building will provide 58 homes for residents with low to moderate household incomes

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Most Read