1,293 new COVID-19 cases and 2 more deaths in B.C.

DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Thursday reported 1,293 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 108,278 cases in British Columbia.

However, due to a delay in the Public Health Reporting Data Warehouse (PHRDW) lab system, these numbers are reported from the PLOVER system and may be adjusted once confirmed with PHRDW data, when available.

There have been two new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,493 deaths in the province.

There are 9,184 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 15,203 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 97,462 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 336 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 101 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 448 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 645 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 69 in the Island Health region, 80 in the Interior Health region, 51 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

985,001 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,564 of which are second doses. People 65 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who have received their ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ letter may register now.

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.

There has been one new outbreak at the Segal Family Health Centre (Vancouver Coastal). The outbreak at Ridge Meadows Hospital is over.

There are currently 3,776 confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province. This data will be updated once whole genome sequencing has been completed. Of the total cases, 104 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,842 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 883 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

Henry and Dix said: “Our laboratory teams continue to actively screen for a wide range of viruses to understand what is circulating in our communities and what is most common. As we learn more, we continue to adapt and refine our screening approach.

“We have also seen a concerning increase in the number of younger people with COVID-19, much of this tied to social gatherings and related clusters. We are asking for your help to share the message with your sons and daughters, work colleagues and friends – we are not yet through this storm.

“Since the start of the pandemic, health-care workers across our province has been providing care to those with COVID-19. And like all of us, they are tired and ready to put the pandemic behind them.

“Despite their fatigue, they are here for all of us and we also need to show them our support. We need to show our health-care heroes that they have not been forgotten, and we do that by doing our part every day – without exception.

“Workplaces continue to be sustained areas of transmission, clusters and outbreaks. These have strained public health resources to manage, so a new provincial health officer Expedited Workplace Closure order is being put in place to allow WorkSafeBC inspectors to support the work of public health and to support businesses when a COVID-19 outbreak occurs at the worksite.

“Starting Monday, when the public health investigation determines that transmission has occurred at the workplace, an order may be issued closing the workplace for 10 days or longer to stop the transmission. In the case of complex workplaces (e.g., large construction sites), the closure may be restricted to those parts of the workplace where transmission has occurred.

“Public health will also assess whether there is an overriding public interest to keep the workplace open. This would apply to such locations as police stations, fire halls, health-care facilities, schools, shelters, the ferry system, public transportation and distribution hubs of necessary goods such as food and medicine, pharmacies and grocery stores.

“When a closure is ordered, WorkSafeBC will serve the closure notice and will then support the workplace to review and enhance safety plans, as needed. A list of workplaces that have been closed and the date of their reopening will be posted on the health authority websites. In all cases additional outbreak control measures, including contact tracing and immunization will continue under public health direction.

“Work with employers and WorkSafeBC has been ongoing and will continue through the weekend in preparation of the coming into force of this order on Monday.

“One year ago, we asked people to share their perspectives and their experiences in our provincewide ‘Your story, our future’ survey, and a record number of people took part.

“Today, we are asking you to once again, share your feedback on how COVID-19 has affected you, and what tools and supports you need as we look ahead to our pandemic recovery. The new survey is available at: www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey

“We encourage everyone to once again participate.

“As the new survey will likely show us, we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And, equally important, we can all influence how quickly we get to the brighter days that are ahead. Let’s all do our part today.”

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