British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Feb. 18

Health officials have announced a significant spike in the one-day total of new COVID-19 cases, with 617 confirmed on Thursday. Another four people have died of the disease.

Health officials announced 617 new cases on Thursday and 4 more deaths

A pedestrian walks by a storefront window with face masks for sale in Vancouver on Wednesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)


  • Health officials announced 617 new cases of COVID-19 and 4 more deaths on Thursday.
  • There are now 224 people in hospital with the disease, including 60 in intensive care.
  • There are 4,348 active cases of the novel coronavirus across the province.
  • A total of 1,321 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C. out of 75,327 confirmed cases.
  • To date, 180,691 doses of vaccine have been administered, including 29,952 second doses.

Health officials have announced a significant spike in the one-day total of new COVID-19 cases, with 617 confirmed on Thursday. Another four people have died of the disease.

The daily numbers have hovered between 400 and 500 confirmed cases for the last few weeks. Thursday's update came in a written statement, which did not include an explanation for the abrupt jump.

There are now 4,348 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C. Of those, 224 people are in hospital, including 60 in intensive care. Another 7,440 people are being monitoring by public health because of exposure to known cases of the virus.

To date, 1,321 people have died from infection with the novel coronavirus in B.C. out of 75,327 confirmed cases. A total of 69,602 who've tested positive have recovered from their illness.

Meanwhile, 180,691 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 29,952 second doses. 

On Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province is expecting to receive 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, after it was delayed by a couple of days due to cold weather.

"We've delivered all of the immunizations really that we can in B.C. given the supply that's been provided by the federal government," said Dix, adding: "Hope is on the horizon."

This week, health officials have called on British Columbians to treat each other with compassion while also encouraging those around them to follow public health orders and help get the second wave of COVID-19 under control.

In their daily update on Wednesday, Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said supporting others is crucial to protecting everyone's physical and mental health.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on all of us, but with kindness, compassion and care for those around us, we will see it through," they said in a written statement.

"Most people in B.C. are doing the right thing, and we encourage everyone, in turn, to support friends and family to also continue to take precautions in their daily lives."


What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 6:30 p.m. PT Wednesday, Canada had reported 834,182 cases of COVID-19, with 32,986 cases considered active.

A total of 21,435 people have died.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or o​​​​​​ther extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.



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