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COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. fall to near-six-week low

Eight COVID-19-related deaths overnight raise provincial death toll to 1,658.
Dix with BH in short sleeves
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks to media.

B.C.'s battle against COVID-19 continued to show promising signs, according to new data released May 19.

The number of those in hospital with the disease, for example, fell by 20, to 340 – a number that has not been lower since April 9. The number of those in intensive care units (ICU) also fell, by nine, to 118 – the lowest that it has been since April 13. 

The number of people in the province actively fighting infections also fell – for the 18th consecutive data update – to 4,815, the lowest tally since March 4.

Unfortunately, the number of new cases identified in the past day rose to 521, which is the first time above 500 since May 13.

In total, B.C. has had 140,596 known cases of COVID-19 since the first case was identified in January, 2020. Of those, almost 95.3%, or 133,985 people are considered to be recovered.

The province's way of determining who is recovered is based on a determination of who is infectious, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry explained last week. People who are self-isolating are given 10 days from the date that they first started exhibiting symptoms. As long as they are continuing to improve, they are declared to have recovered at that 10-day mark.

With eight more people losing their lives to COVID-19 in B.C., the province's death toll from the disease has risen to 1,658.

By health region, the 521 new infections include:
• 77 in Vancouver Coastal Health (14.8%);
• 335 in Fraser Health (64.3%);
• 18 in Island Health (3.4%);
• 62 in Interior Health (11.9%); and
• 29 in Northern Health (5.5%).

In the past 24 hours, health officials have provided 56,971 doses of vaccine to 53,562 new people, and 3,409 others, who were getting needed second doses. 

In total, the province has provided 2,623,907 vaccine doses to 2,488,661 people, with 135,246 people being fully vaccinated with two doses. 

"Today, young people 12 to 17 years old may register to receive their vaccine, with more details to come tomorrow," Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. 

One new outbreak at a seniors' home is at Heritage Manor in Fort St. John. The outbreak at Sandalwood Retirement Resort in Kelowna has been declared over.

That means that the four outbreaks at seniors' homes in B.C. are:
• Cherington Place in Surrey;
• Orchard Haven in Keremeos;
• Heritage Manor in Fort St. John; and
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

The two B.C. hospitals with active COVID-19 outbreaks are Dawson Creek and District Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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