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COVID-19 hospitalizations decline as B.C. records 1,001 new cases

Last Updated Apr 23, 2021 at 4:54 pm PDT

FILE -- Dr. Bonnie Henry is joined by Dr. Penny Ballem as they arrive to talk about phase two in B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

There are now 486 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, down from 502 the day before

There are currently 160 people in intensive care

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. reported 1,001 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, but the number of people in hospital has dropped for the first time in weeks.

There are now 486 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, down from 502 the day before. However, there are still 160 people in intensive care, down from 161 Thursday.

The province paused non-urgent surgeries in the Lower Mainland on Thursday, citing the strain record numbers of COVID-19-related hospitalizations was putting on the healthcare system. More than half of the new infections are in the Fraser Health region, with 626 people testing positive. Another 215 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Four more people have died due to the coronavirus, bringing the total number of lives lost since the pandemic was declared up to 1,554.

Friday’s statement comes on the heels of B.C. announcing some more details about restrictions meant to deter non-essential travel in the province. 

Dix and henry reiterated some of what Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said earlier in the day.

“Non-essential travel is prohibited between three regional zones in the province, using health authority boundaries. These zones are the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health), Vancouver Island (Island Health), and the Interior and North (Interior and Northern Health),” the statement says.

“The message remains the same – by staying in our local communities, we will prevent the spread of this virus and move forward together to a time when it is behind us. With this order, the Province is also working with partners to increase highway signage along the border with Alberta, with BC Ferries to restrict non-essential vehicle passage and with tourism and accommodation industry associations to support operators and businesses in declining bookings from outside of their regional zones.”

They also reminded British Columbians that online registration to get immunized is now open to all adults. So far, 1,542,066 doses of vaccine have been administered, 88,663 of which are second doses.