B.C. records 531 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 more death
There are 244 people in hospital with the disease, 66 of whom are in intensive care
B.C. health officials announced 531 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Wednesday.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 244 people, 66 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of 1,394 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, out of 85,650 confirmed cases.
There are currently 4,861 active cases of coronavirus in the province, and public health is monitoring 9,051 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation because of COVID-19 exposure. A total of 79,309 people who tested positive have recovered.
So far, 355,340 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 86,960 second doses.
Henry noted in the statement that the province is now receiving supplies of the AstraZeneca–SII Covishield vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII).
"In particular, we will use this vaccine to assist with outbreak response in communities and within high-risk industries,' she stated.
New outbreak at Ridge Meadows Hospital
On Wednesday, Fraser Health also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Ridge Meadows Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit.
The health authority says in a news release that five patients have tested positive, but that the outbreak is limited to one unit which is temporarily closed to admissions.
"The emergency department at Ridge Meadows Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of Ridge Meadows Hospital," reads the statement.
On Monday, Henry said there is potential to loosen some restrictions in coming weeks, particularly those around sports and religious gatherings.
Health officials announced 51 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern on Wednesday. There have been 627 variant cases of COVID-19 to date in B.C., of which 109 are currently considered active. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the variants are still a significant concern for officials tracking case numbers as the vaccine rollout continues.
"There is hope and optimism about the near future. But right now, in the month of March, it's really important that we follow public health measures ... it's still not even 10 per cent of the population that have been vaccinated. And we have to keep people safe in the meantime," Dix told CBC on Wednesday.
CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to put your COVID-19 vaccine questions to expert guests, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
With files from The Early Edition