British Columbia recorded 970 more COVID-19 cases and 11 related deaths over the weekend, as the provincial seven-day infection average continued on its downward trajectory.
The latest figures, released Monday by the health ministry, lowered the weekly average to 340 cases per day, the lowest since August 8.
The number of active cases in British Columbia also fell to 2,827, marking the first time it has fallen below 3,000 in three months.
The number of infectious COVID-19 patients hospitalized increased slightly to 303, while the number in intensive care remained static at 115.
The update was delivered as British Columbia began immunizing children aged five to 11 against COVID-19. While some parents feared vaccinating their young children, authorities noted that some three million children in the United States have already received the same vaccine, which was developed with them in mind, and that there is no had no “safety signal” as a result.
Other parents have been keen to get their children vaccinated as quickly as possible, especially in the face of faster-spreading variants such as Delta, which has been blamed for an increase in the size of COVID-19 clusters in schools.
Unvaccinated children under 12 make up about 20% of recent COVID-19 cases in British Columbia, although they make up about 10% of the population.
There are approximately 350,000 children in British Columbia between the ages of five and 11. More than 108,000 were registered for vaccination Monday afternoon, according to the Ministry of Health, which estimated that 50,000 appointments would be made by the end of the day.
Just over 91 percent of British Columbians aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and almost 89 percent have received two.
The vaccination push has also taken on new urgency in recent days as countries prepare for the potential impact of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, several cases of which have now been confirmed in Canada.
Experts have warned that the variant has an unusually high number of mutations, although the impact they will have on transmissibility, disease severity and vaccine resistance has yet to be determined.