British Columbia health officials have reported 29 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths since their last update on June 28.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 147,578 while the death toll remains at 1,754.
Of the new cases, seven were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, seven were in Fraser Health, three was in Island Health, 10 were in Interior Health and two were people who generally reside outside of Canada. There were no new cases reported in Northern Health.
There are currently 876 active cases in the province, 110 people in hospital — 34 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of people 144,931 in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 4,941,795 million doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide, including more than 800,000 doses on Vancouver Island.
Today’s figures were released as a statement to the media and less than three hours after health officials announced that British Columbia will be moving into Stage 3 of the provincial reopening plan on July 1.
As a result, the order on personal gathering restrictions will be lifted and the provincial state of emergency will also be declared over. The capacity for outdoor and indoor organized gatherings will be increased and nightclubs will be allowed to operate with restrictions that include no dancing or socializing between tables.
“We can engage again,” said Premier John Horgan during a press conference about Stage 3 reopening.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said during the press conference that vaccination rates are continuing to climb, with some exceptions in small communities in the northern and interior health regions where drive-thru and mobile clinics are expected to make it more convenient for people to get immunized.
“Because of the efforts of people in B.C., we continue to see a significant decline in new cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths as the number of people who are fully immunized goes up,” Henry said. “Public health teams throughout the province are closely watching the case data to ensure we maintain this positive momentum as we safely and gradually move into Step 3 of our restart plan.”
Officials also stated during the press conference that they would no longer be holding regular media briefings regarding COVID-19 after this week, citing declining cases and hospitalizations.
“We need to know that this virus is going to be here but it is not going to be here that is in way that is disrupting our lives like it has for the last 18 months,” said Henry.
Active cases continue to fall on Vancouver Island as only three new cases reported in the region in the past 24 hours.
There are currently 16 active cases, six people in hospital — four of whom are in critical care — on Vancouver Island.
When it comes to active cases, there are three cases in the South Island, 13 cases in Central Island, and none in the North Island. It’s the first time all year that any region of Vancouver Island has had no active COVID-19 cases.
In the past 24 hours, there were 9,053 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those, 359 doses were AstraZeneca, 8,231 doses were Moderna and 913 doses were Pfizer.
A total of 810,549 doses of vaccine have been administered Island-wide, 26 per cent of which are second doses.
Although vaccination continues on Vancouver Island, there have been some delays due to hot weather with a number of clincis temporarily closing, including ones in Comox, Langford and Lake Cowichan on Tuesday.
Island Health says all those who have had appointments cancelled will be contacted and rebooked.
“We are working on solutions to create additional appointments to rebook people as quickly as possible,” the health authority said in a statement. “We acknowledge this may be frustrating for some people and we ask for patience and understanding as we move through the effects of this extreme weather event.”
Since the pandemic began, there have been 5,159 cases identified, 41 deaths, 254 hospitalizations, and 5,092 recoveries in the Island Health region.