1,006 new COVID-19 cases and 4 more deaths in B.C.

“We support the action the federal government announced today to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days”

DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Thursday announced 1,006 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 122,757 cases in British Columbia.

There have been four new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,550 deaths in the province.

There are 8,733 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 12,846 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 112,235 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 502 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 161 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 241 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 600 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 37 in the Island Health region, 83 in the Interior Health region, 42 in the Northern Health region and three new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There is one new health-care outbreak at the Mount St. Mary facility, which is in the Island Health region.

Henry and Dix said: “1,500,430 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 88,475 of which are second doses.

“We encourage everyone to register on the Get Vaccinated website – whether they are getting their vaccine as part of the age-based program, worker program or at their local pharmacy. People 25 years and older are now eligible to register for their vaccine.

“The latest variant-of-concern data will be provided on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website (www.bccdc.ca) weekly. Through our ongoing monitoring of the many variants in our province, we have identified 42 cases of the B.1.617 (India) variant of interest. Like the variants of concern, this strain has also shown to be more transmissible than those circulating earlier in the pandemic.

“We want to stop transmission from all variants, and the best ways for us to do that is to get vaccinated as soon we are eligible, to use our layers of protection and to stay local in our communities.

“We support the action the federal government announced today to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days.

“The pressure on B.C.’s health-care system is increasing, and our health-care workers need our help.

“As a result of the growing number of people with COVID-19 requiring care in hospital and the strain it is putting on our capacity, we have made the difficult decision to postpone scheduled non-urgent surgeries in nine Lower Mainland hospitals for the next two weeks.

“This is a temporary measure to ensure we can continue to care for everyone who is seriously ill and needs urgent care – whether they have COVID-19 or another illness. This is not a decision made lightly. We recognize this will have an impact on those who have been waiting their turn, and we will work to reschedule these surgeries as soon as we can.

“In addition to this short-term change in some hospitals, additional travel measures will come into effect with specific details to be provided tomorrow.

“Staying in our local communities means we are not travelling to or from COVID-19 hot spots and inadvertently bringing the virus with us as an unwelcome guest.

“We all have to do our part to protect those who are at higher risk, even if we are not high risk ourselves.

“This means doing three things: when it is your turn to get your vaccine – go, always using your safety layers and staying within your local communities. This is how we will protect our loved ones, our community and ourselves.”