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

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)
Millard dedicated himself to community service

Long-time Chemainus Fire Department member and chief remembered for his commitment

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Julie Nygaard’s By Moonlight Raven Flight is one of the photo-artist works in her show Through My Eyes – A Visual Journey, which will be featured at Rainforest Arts through August. (Photo submitted)
Photographer-painter Nygaard featured at Rainforest Arts

Real images enhanced through digital means to create compelling art

Filming of The Baker’s Son in Chemainus. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Bread-making brilliance and mediocrity the recipe for movie ingredients

Willow Street on the map as a prominent location in The Baker’s Son

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
Island Health opening COVID-19 vaccine clinic to boost lagging Cowichan Lake numbers

Cowichan Valley West the only Island area under 60 per cent in adult first dose totals

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Most Read