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 832 new cases, for a total of 100,880 cases in British Columbia.
“There are 7,571 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 11,608 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 91,732 people who tested positive have recovered. Please note, these numbers are provisional due to a delayed data refresh and will be verified once confirmed.
“Of the active cases, 296 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 79 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 310 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 388 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 53 in the Island Health region, 42 in the Interior Health region, 39 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
“There have been 90 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 2,643 cases. Of the total cases, 192 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,214 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 50 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 379 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
“There have been five new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,463 deaths in British Columbia.
“To date, 787,549 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,394 of which are second doses.
“Today, people 72 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a letter identifying them as such, can book their appointments. The current supply of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine has also been made available to people between the ages of 55-65 in the Lower Mainland – our highest transmission area.
“Starting today, long-term care and assisted-living residents across the province can see their family and friends and can leave their home without needing to self-isolate on their return. We recognize and thank you for the sacrifices you and your families have made over the past year.
“We all need to ensure we are socializing safely. If you choose to spend time with anyone other than your immediate household, it must be outside. You also need to ensure you are giving enough space to others, staying away if you are feeling at all unwell, and staying with the same group of people.
“Travel between communities – beyond what you would do for a day trip – remains high risk for all of us. This is not the time for leisure or vacation travel, or a vacation rental in another community. Rather, this weekend, explore your local region instead.
“We all have the same ability to spread the COVID-19 virus and we all have the same ability to slow the spread. Staying small, staying outside and local will help us to bend our curve down and stay safe.”