Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

New B.C. COVID-19 cases decline, but 17 deaths over weekend

484 in hospital as of Monday, 158 in intensive care

B.C. recorded 881 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, 847 on Sunday and 763 as of Monday, with 17 more deaths as hospitalizations continue to run high in the province.

The new cases are a decline from daily infections of about 1,000 last week, with 484 people in hospital and 158 in intensive care, in what provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry describes as a “very stressed” health care system. Scheduled surgeries are being delayed for a second time in some Lower Mainland hospitals as coronavirus illness has spiked up in recent weeks.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said hospital beds are being freed up to accommodate an influx of COVID-19 patients, but he urged people who need hospital care to get it.

Henry said the latest research is showing that all three vaccines being administered in B.C. are effective in protecting against serious illness, and urged everyone who is eligible to take the first one available. She said B.C. expects to get its first shipment of Johnson and Johnson vaccine next week, a single-shot vaccine that is also fridge stable.

Dix said April 26 that B.C. is down to about 44,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine, with more coming in this week and a major increase of Pfizer shipments expected starting the first week of May.

Of the 2,491 cases recorded over the weekend, there were 466 new cases identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,632 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 82 in the Island Health region, 206 in the Interior Health region, 104 in the Northern Health region and one new case of a person who resides outside of Canada.

There has been one new COVID-19 outbreak at Orchard Haven long-term care facility in Keremeos, one of eight currently being monitored in long-term care, assisted living and independent living facilities in B.C. There are outbreak protocols in acute care areas at seven hospitals as of April 26.

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