Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:
“Today, we are reporting 1,068 new cases, including 33 epi-linked cases, for a total of 105,988 cases in British Columbia.
“There are 8,671 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 14,118 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 95,691 people who tested positive have recovered.
“Of the active cases, 328 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 96 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“Since we last reported, we have had 352 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 492 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 73 in the Island Health region, 106 in the Interior Health region, 43 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
“There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,489 deaths in British Columbia.
“To date, 912,056 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,474 of which are second doses.
“The ‘Get Vaccinated’ online vaccine registration and booking system for B.C.’s age-based immunization program has launched, allowing everyone to register and then later book their vaccine appointment online, when eligible. Today, people 71 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who have received their ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ letter may book appointments.
“In addition to the age-based program, we have continued with immunizations in high-risk workplaces and to assist with outbreak response. The parallel worker-focused program remains on pause until more information is available on the safety signal connected to the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.
“There have been 207 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 3,766 cases. Of the total cases, 266 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,838 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 877 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
“As expected, an increasing number of new cases of COVID-19 are variants of concern, and this is anticipated to continue as these variants take over from earlier virus strains.
“Unnecessary travel and social gatherings are fuelling the fire for variant of concern transmission – and we all have the ability to slow that down.
“All of our connections need to be safe, small connections using all of our layers of protection, all of the time. If you choose to spend time with anyone other than your immediate household, it must be outside, it must be small and it must be safe.
“Let’s ensure we don’t lose any more ground from the progress we have made this year. Let’s all pledge to do our part today to slow the spread.”