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Province says COVID-19 cases decreasing, immunizations strong

Despite a peak in early October, the province says COVID-19 cases are decreasing and vaccinations are going well for respiratory illness.

In statement, the province there are 244 people in hospital with COVID-19 and eight of those are in critical care.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry adds the most common strains that are causing illness include slight variations of the Omicron variant like HB.1, XBB1.1.6, 1.9 and AG5 which have been around for the last few months.

RSV test positivity is also starting to increase in children, according to Henry and the levels are a bit higher than what they would expect in pre-pandemic levels but is still considered low.

Influenza on the other hand seems to be more normal, specifically with influenza A and the H1N1 strains and there have been very few cases of influenza B, according to Henry.

As of Nov. 9, the province has given over 1 million influenza vaccines and more than 847,000 COVID-19 vaccines. Henry reminds British Columbians to stay home if they are presenting symptoms of COVID, the flu or other respiratory viruses to prevent spreading them.

The province adds most individuals who are registered in its Get Vaccinated system will have received an invite for their next COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

“Everyone who wants a flu shot will receive one, and I continue to urge people aged six months and older to get their COVID-19 and influenza vaccines as soon as they are due,” said health minister Adrian Dix.

“I want to thank all the health-care workers – the doctors, nurses and pharmacists – who are on the frontlines across B.C., providing vaccines and keeping our communities healthy and resilient.”

The province adds that to help hospitals have the capacity in case of a demand surge, plans are in place to add hospital beds and expedite patient flow as needed.

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