BC surpasses 83,000 positive cases

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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 634 new cases, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 83,107 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 4,901 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 8,861 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 76,752 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the active cases, 255 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 66 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since we last reported, we have had 149 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 365 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 26 in the Island Health region, 33 in the Interior Health region, 60 in the Northern Health region and one new case of a person who resides outside of Canada.

"There have been four new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 250 cases. Of the total cases, 12 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 222 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant and 28 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant.

"To date, 311,208 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 86,865 of which are second doses. Immunization data is available on the COVID-19 dashboard at: www.bccdc.ca

"There have been four new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,380 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19.

"There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at the Holmberg House Hospice (Fraser Health).

"This has been a week of progress in our COVID-19 response, as we ready our province to begin our age-based immunizations and integrate the AstraZeneca-SII vaccine into our program.

"Building on this momentum, the federal government approved a fourth COVID-19 vaccine today. The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine is another tool in our immunization program that will help accelerate protection of people throughout our province.

"Starting on Monday, vaccine appointment bookings for people over 90 and Indigenous people over 65 will get underway, with appointments available in communities provincewide.

"We ask that anyone outside of this age group waits to call until their registration window begins. Regular updates will be provided to ensure everyone has the latest registration information.

"In addition to our immunization program, we are regularly reviewing the public health restrictions to assess when we can safely ease them. We know many are keen to resume activities and we will open what we can when we have the confidence it is safe to do so.

"Our days are brighter, but the number of new cases remains higher than where we want it to be. So, as we get outside and enjoy the many activities we can do safely, let's ensure we are also staying the course with our safety measures."