British Columbia

B.C. announces 24 more deaths from COVID-19 and 640 new cases

B.C. health officials announced 640 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 24 more deaths.

Record-high 362 people in hospital, with 91 in intensive care

Public health is actively monitoring 10,538 people across the province, who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. There were 9,950 active cases in the province as of Wednesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 640 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 24 more deaths.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix, B.C.'s health minister, said there were 9,950 active cases of people in the province infected with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A record-high 362 people are in hospital, with 91 in intensive care. The province's death toll rose to 692.

Public health is actively monitoring 10,538 people across the province, who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 32,000 people who tested positive have recovered.

Henry and Dix announced one new outbreak at the Sunrise of Vancouver health-care facility. Outbreaks have been declared over at Sun Pointe Village, Gateway Lodge and the University Hospital of Northern B.C.

Meanwhile, Fraser Health announced that 30 employees have tested positive in connection with an outbreak at Wingtat Game Bird Packers, a poultry processing plant in Surrey.

The health authority has shut down the plant and started mass testing all the workers on site.

The province started rolling out vaccines on Tuesday, administering 409 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to front-line health-care workers.

B.C. will use the first shipment of 3,900 doses at once — rather than reserving a second dose taken 21 days later — to immunize as many workers as possible.

Starting next week, the province will receive weekly vaccine deliveries for clinics in every health region, Henry and Dix said.

The province is aiming to immunize 400,000 people by the end of March.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said Wednesday that all Canadians who want a shot will be vaccinated by September 2021.

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