As the number of people getting a COVID-19 vaccine grows, the infection rates continue to shrink in B.C.

The province reported 481 new cases over the weekend.

Of those, just nine were on Vancouver Island and 70 in Vancouver Coastal Health, which includes Powell River.

The seven-day rolling average in B.C. is down to 177 new cases per day – the lowest it’s been since October 20th.

More good news comes on the vaccination front.

As of today, 74 percent of adults aged 18-plus in the province have had at least one dose.

As well, 72 percent of everyone eligible for a vaccine has gotten a shot. This includes those 12 and older.

Anyone who received an AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose will start getting invitations for their second vaccine.

As well, the gap between doses has now been shortened to eight weeks, meaning many people will be able to book their second dose earlier than anticipated.

However, it’s not all good news. There were 12 more COVID-related deaths over the weekend.

Deputy provincial health officer, Dr. Réka Gustafson, says these deaths are an important reminder of what we have to gain.

 “We’ve been focused on preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths,” she said. “Orders and restrictions are part of our daily lives, but now we are in a much better position as a province and we can start to focus on all there is to be gained by immunization, and there is so much.”

Across B.C. there are 199 people in the hospital with COVID. At the height of the third wave, that number was 511.