There are 559 new cases of COVID-19 in BC for Tuesday. There have been 77,822 total cases of COVID in BC. 1 person has died bringing the total number of deaths to 1336.
There are 238 people in hospital, up 15, linked to COVID-19. There are 69 people in ICU. There are 7,881 people in self-isolation.
So far 287,950 COVID vaccines have been administered in BC, this includes 58,896 second doses.
Dr. Henry says 10 in 100,000 doses have led to allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Health Minister Adrian Dix says 287,950 doses have come to BC. The number of vaccines administered is 224,354.
Dr. Henry says work is being done to engage with communities around locations for vaccines. Province has expanded pool to include paramedics and dentists to administer the vaccine.
Dr. Henry says they are improving the tracking so they know which vaccine is put into someone's arm. "As more vaccines come online as we expect them to, this will become even more critically important."
Dr. Bonnie Henry on immunization plan. "Without a doubt there will be some hiccups and bumps." Says they will find people in various different ways including MSP lists and specialty clinics.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says everyone 80 years of age and over will be contacted over the next two weeks about vaccine. "We have not forgotten you, we will be reaching out to you."
Dr. Henry is talking about COVID testing for the variant. "Viruses do mutate and do change and it's important to monitor." Dr. Henry says the recent uptick is something the province is trying to understand. Says overall the province is holding steady. "We know what to do to manage. We are in a period of vaccine hope and pandemic reality."
Dix says 92% of those living in LTC have received their first dose of the COVID vaccines, 39% have received a second dose.
British Columbia is expected to start informing people over age 80 about their vaccinations for COVID-19 starting next week as the province prepares to open mass clinics while doing more in-depth testing for variants.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. is in a phase of "vaccine hope and pandemic reality" but an age-based immunization plan will remain in place despite some calls to prioritize essential workers.
Henry says the province is expanding its pool of immunizers to include dentists, midwives and paramedics before 172 sites open up to eventually offer a vaccine to everyone age 18 and up.
However, she says it's concerning that cases of variants like the one first identified in the United Kingdom are increasing after an unknown number were recently identified at seven schools in the Fraser Health region.
The teachers' union has called on the province to allow school districts to come up with their own guidelines on mandatory masks for elementary schools but Henry says her current directive was made with the participation of parents' groups, teachers and school superintendents.