Let's make the right choice today
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:
"Today, we are reporting 997 new cases, including eight epi-linked cases, for a total of 106,985 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 8,728 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 14,602 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 96,626 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the active cases, 330 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 105 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Since we last reported, we have had 356 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 465 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 67 in the Island Health region, 91 in the Interior Health region, 18 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
"There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,491 deaths in British Columbia.
"To date, 946,096 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,504 of which are second doses. This is almost 20% of those who are eligible for a vaccine in B.C.
"The Get Vaccinated online vaccine registration and booking system for B.C.'s age-based immunization program is open for everyone to register and then later book their vaccine appointment when eligible. More than 305,000 people have registered so far.
"People 70 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who have received their 'clinically extremely vulnerable' letter may book appointments.
"The parallel, worker-focused program remains a priority, and scheduling of vaccines will resume as more vaccine becomes available.
"Today, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations provided clear advice on vaccine doses, confirming that up to 16 weeks between doses provides for the greatest level of community-wide protection and is therefore optimal for everyone, irrespective of any underlying health condition.
"There are currently 3,766 confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province. Additional whole genome sequencing has not been completed since the last report. Of the total cases, 266 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,837 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 878 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be ever changing, and we are also continuing to evolve and adapt our pandemic response. As part of this, we are actively monitoring and screening for all of the virus strains to understand how they may impact us and what additional action may be required to keep our communities safe.
"We know that no matter what mutation may be prevalent, following all of the public health orders and using all of our layers of protection - without exception - is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe.
"We all have a choice - to bend the rules, or do our part to flatten our curve. No matter how tired of this pandemic we may be, let's make the right choice today."