862 new COVID-19 cases and 7 more deaths

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Wednesday reported 862 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 121,751 cases in British Columbia.

There have been seven new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,546 deaths in ghe province.

There are 8,906 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 13,135 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 111,039 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 483 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 164 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 200 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 557 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 25 in the Island Health region, 54 in the Interior Health region, 26 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There is no new update on the variants of concern.

Henry and Dix said: “1,456,946 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 88,335 of which are second doses.

“For each person who gets vaccinated, we are all safer. When your turn comes up for one of the three vaccines, it is your turn to go. We strongly urge you to book your appointment as soon as you can. This is one of the important ways for you to do your part.

“People 30 years and older are now eligible to register for a vaccine in our age-based program on the Get Vaccinated website. People aged 40 and up are also now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at their local pharmacy or through special clinics in 13 high-risk communities.

“We continue to do all we can to break the chains of transmission in our communities and slow COVID-19 down. One of the steps we are taking is the Workplace Closure public health order, which gives WorkSafeBC the ability to close businesses for at least 10 days under the direction of health authority medical health officers.

“Through this order, we are helping to prevent transmission at work, supporting businesses to ensure workplaces are safe for everyone and ensuring people do not unintentionally spread the virus to colleagues or bring COVID-19 back home to their families.

“Our front-line health-care workers are under intense pressure and the number of people requiring specialized care in our critical and intensive care units continues to increase. This is the result of our individual and collective actions from two weeks ago. What we do today will determine how we fare two weeks from now.

“It is the small, simple things we do every day that make a difference – washing our hands, wearing a mask, staying away from others and not travelling if we do not need to. And, the time to do that is now.

“We can slow COVID-19, and we can bend our curve back down. Let’s all do our part today to make that happen.”

BACKGROUNDER
Immunization eligibility

Age-based program

Anyone 30 years or older may now register through the Get Vaccinated online system.

Appointments are now being made for people 63 and older, Indigenous people 18 and older, and people who have received a letter indicating they are clinically vulnerable.

First responder and worker program

Health authorities are contacting workplaces to arrange for workers to be vaccinated. This program is continuing to be phased in, focusing on communities that are highest risk.

In addition to the age-based and worker programs, vaccinations are expanding for people aged 40 and older who are now also eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at their local pharmacy. This is being done after a careful review of the evidence that initially led to a pause in the expanded AstraZeneca vaccine program for younger workers.

In addition, specific AstraZeneca vaccine clinics will be established in the 13 communities with the highest identified in-community transmission. People 40 and older who reside in those communities will be able to get vaccinated there. For a complete list of the 13 communities, as well as information to assist in determining if you reside in one of these communities, go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/neighbourhood

AstraZeneca pharmacy program

Anyone 40 and older can book their appointments today.

Anyone 40 and older in the following community health service areas can also be vaccinated at several specific clinics that are being set up. The service areas include:

* Dawson Creek

* East Newton

* Fleetwood

* Kensington

* North Delta

* North Surrey

* Panorama

* Port Coquitlam

* South Langley Township

* Squamish

* Whalley

* West Abbotsford

* West Newton

People living in these communities must register for their vaccine appointments using the Province’s Get Vaccinated registration and booking tool and will be invited to book an appointment on the same day they register. The fastest way to register and book is online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register

People can confirm whether they live in a high-transmission neighbourhood prioritized for immunization by entering their postal code: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/neighbourhood

Only those with eligible postal codes will be able to receive a vaccine through the high-transmission neighbourhood program.

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