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COVID-19: B.C. reports fewer than 500 new cases for 1st time since mid-March

British Columbia reported fewer than 500 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in nearly two months on Friday.

In a written statement, health officials reported 494 new cases and two additional deaths.

The last time B.C. reported under 500 cases was on March 17.

The update brought B.C.’s seven-day rolling average for new cases to 565, the lowest it’s been since March 20. Active cases fell to 5,548, the lowest they’ve been since March 23.

Of the new cases, 140 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 288 new cases were in the Fraser Health region, eight were in the Island Health region, 33 were in the Interior Health region and 25 were in the Northern Health region.

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Hospitalizations fell by 26 overnight to 387 — the first time they’ve fallen below 400 in a month. The number of patients in intensive care remained unchanged at 141.

The province has administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 2.26 million people, accounting for more than 44 per cent of B.C.’s population.

Vaccine bookings for people aged 25 and up opened on Friday. That age bracket will drop to anyone aged 20 and older Saturday evening and to anyone aged 18 and older Sunday evening.

People seeking a vaccine need to register with the province in order to be notified when it is time to book, and when it is time to get theri second shot.

B.C. has reported 138,304 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, while 1,634 people have died.

Click to play video: Provincial health officer on whether B.C. will follow U.S. relaxation of mask rules

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