B.C. reports 970 cases, 11 deaths over 72 hours

Two women wearing masks walk away from the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., near Seattle, Monday, March 2, 2020. Health officials in Washington state said Sunday night that a second person had died from the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

British Columbia recorded another 970 cases of COVID-19 and 11 related deaths over the weekend, as the province's seven-day average for infections continued its downward trajectory.

The latest numbers, released Monday by the Ministry of Health, pushed the weekly average down to 304 cases per day, the lowest it's been since Aug. 8.

B.C.'s active case count also fell to 2,827, marking the first time it's dropped below 3,000 in three months.

The number of infectious COVID-19 patients in hospital increased slightly to 303, while the number in intensive care remains static at 115.

The update was delivered as B.C. began vaccinating children between the ages of five and 11 against COVID-19. While some parents have been apprehensive about vaccinating their young children, officials noted some three million kids in the U.S. have already received the same vaccine, which was developed with them in mind, and there have been no "safety signals" as a result.

Just over 91 per cent of British Columbians 12 and older have already received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 89 per cent have received two.

Children under the age of 12 have made up about 20 per cent of B.C.'s recent COVID-19 cases, despite representing approximately 10 per cent of the population.

The push for immunization is also getting more pressing as countries brace for the potential impact of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant. Experts have cautioned the variant has an unusually high number of mutations, though it the impact they will have on transmissibility, severity of illness and vaccine resistance have yet to be determined.

- with files from CTV -