B.C. adds 697 COVID-19 cases as 7-day average continues to drop

British Columbia announced 697 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, pushing the province's seven-day average to its lowest point in several weeks.

Health officials also announced one more death related to the disease. B.C. has now recorded a total of 132,353 infections and 1,597 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

While daily case numbers remain high, the seven-day average has been decreasing steadily since reaching a record of 1,129 per day on April 12.

That trend continued Tuesday when the average dropped to 757 per day – the lowest it's been since March 27, and well below the 804 per day average recorded at the peak of the province's second wave.

In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix encouraged residents to keep following COVID-19 restrictions and get vaccinated as soon as possible to keep the numbers moving in the right direction.

"With each person who is vaccinated, we are all safer. Let's continue to do our part – to get vaccinated when it is our turn, use our layers of protection and follow all of the public health measures we have in place," they said.

B.C.'s active caseload has also dropped to 7,161, the lowest it's been since March 30, though hospitalizations are still near record levels. There are now 486 people battling COVID-19 in hospital with 173 in intensive care – just shy of the provincial high of 178 ICU patients recorded on April 29.

Another 32,832 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered since the last update, putting the total at 1,910,162. That includes 1,817,918 first doses – enough to vaccinate about 35 per cent of the population – and 92,244 second doses.

Every B.C. adult is now welcome to register for their shot on the Get Vaccinated website or by calling 1-833-838-2323. As of Tuesday, pregnant people who are 16 and older are also eligible to book a vaccine appointment.

"If you are pregnant, this is your time," Henry and Dix said. "Please register, then call 1-833-383-2323 and let them know you are pregnant to book your appointment (online booking for pregnant persons is not available at this time)."

Of all the cases of COVID-19 identified in B.C. so far, about 93 per cent – or 123,383 people – have recovered.