Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 fall to lowest level since September

A researcher works in a lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control during the COVID-19 pandemic. (CTV)

British Columbia has recorded 78 more cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health announced Wednesday.

It's the second day in a row that B.C. has added more than 75 new cases to its total, after nearly a month of recording fewer than that.

Wednesday's update brought the rolling seven-day average for new cases in the province up to 58 per day. The average had fallen as low as 35 earlier this month, after reaching a peak of 1,130 daily new cases in April.

There have now been 148,641 cases in the province since the pandemic began.  No more deaths were reported Wednesday, leaving B.C. at 1,763 coronavirus-related deaths overall.

There are now 729 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of those, 48 are in hospital, including 16 in intensive care units.  The last time there were more than 700 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. was July 3.

In her last presentation on pandemic modelling, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry showed data suggesting B.C. was likely to see an increase in infections as its reopening plan progressed. 

How large an increase the province saw would be determined by immunization rates and the number and intensity of social connections residents resumed.

As case counts have risen in recent days, hospitalizations have, so far, continued to fall. The 48 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday was the lowest total B.C. has seen since Sept. 10, 2020.

As of Wednesday, 80.1 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 55.6 per cent have received their second dose.

The province has administered a total of 6,297,149 doses of vaccine so far. 

- with files from CTV -