648 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in B.C.

DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Friday announced 648 new COVID-19 cases, including two epi-linked cases, for a total of 86,867 cases in British Columbia.

There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, and the total number of deaths in the province remains at 1,397.

There are 5,070 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 9,155 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 80,325 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 255 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 67 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 149 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 372 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 32 in the Island Health region, 39 in the Interior Health region, 56 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who resides outside of Canada.

There have been 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 717 cases. Of the total cases, 99 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 667 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 36 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 14 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at Oceana Parc (Fraser) and Ridge Meadows Hospital.

Henry and Dix added: “To date, 380,743 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 87,024 of which are second doses. Vaccine appointment bookings are now open for people over 85 and Indigenous people over 65.

“The three vaccines we have available and in use throughout B.C. are a safe and effective way to protect people around the province. As part of our immunization surveillance activities, we follow strict protocols to identify and address any safety signals that may come up.”

They said: “From the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our objective has been to find and maintain our balance – to protect everyone in our province and keep what we can open.

“With the amended public health order on gatherings and events we can now go outside, but we need to balance that with keeping up our precautions when indoors.

“If you are going to spend time with friends and family, socialize safely.

“This means if you or a family member is higher risk, you may choose to delay your visit or ensure you are wearing your masks and maintaining a safe distance. It also means continuing to clean your hands and staying away if you are feeling unwell.

“The order now allows for gatherings of up to 10 people outside, but does not apply to any indoor locations. The orders for restaurants and bars continue, as does the need to follow all COVID-19 safety plans – at work or school, when we are out for dinner or going to the grocery store.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is still here, and we are still facing headwinds, which means continuing with ‘few faces, open spaces and safety layers’ in place.”