840 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths in B.C.

 DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Tuesday announced 840 new COVID-19 cases, including 18 epi-linked cases, bringing the total number of cases to 99,035 in British Columbia.

There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths, and the total number of deaths remains at 1,455 in the province.

To date, 724,193 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,319 of which are second doses.

The use of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine for those under 55 has been paused. If you are under 55, have received this vaccine and have questions about the signs and symptoms of this rare safety signal, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website:

Vaccine appointment bookings for age-based immunizations are now open for people 73 or older in all health authorities, and Indigenous peoples over 18. Individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a letter identifying them as such are also able to book appointments.

There are 7,062 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 11,164 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 90,401 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 312 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 78 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 265 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 421 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 39 in the Island Health region, 67 in the Interior Health region, 46 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been 320 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 2,553 cases. Of the total cases, 313 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,134 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 49 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 370 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

Henry and Dix said: “We have seen the start of exponential growth of COVID-19 cases. To stop this upward trend from continuing, we are taking the necessary steps to protect our communities and get back on the path we want and need to be on.

“We are asking people for your help – particularly over the next three weeks – to push our curve back down again. This means staying small, staying outside and staying with our same group of close contacts.

“This also means not travelling for leisure or vacation outside of our local communities or regions because the risk for all of us is too great right now.

“We understand that the upcoming important religious holidays are often a time when we would normally get together with others to celebrate. This year, we need to ensure we are celebrating safely, which means not travelling to other communities and postponing those family dinners until it is safe to be together indoors again. As this pandemic continues, we join faith congregations around the globe in celebrating these important holidays in a different way this year so we will all still be here when we can finally safely come together again.

“Today, on National Doctors’ Day, you can recognize the many doctors who have been on the front lines of our COVID-19 response by doing your part. You can do this by using all of your layers of protection and following the public health orders we have in place.

“Together, we can use this circuit breaker to slow the virus, protect more people with vaccines and allow us to continue to safely move forward.”