What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Feb. 25
395 new cases announced, 10 new deaths
- On Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 395 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 10 new deaths.
- There are now 4,489 active cases in the province.
- A total of 228 people are in hospital, including 62 in intensive care.
- To date, 1,348 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C. out of 78,673 confirmed cases.
- 239,833 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 68,157 second doses.
In her Thursday update, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been a slight uptick in the seven-day rolling average province-wide and an increase in the virus reproduction rate to above the level of one.
"This means potential for rapid growth if we are not careful," she said, saying it is too early to ease restrictions.
On the topic of variants, Henry said there have been 116 cases of COVID-19 variants of concern found in B.C., of which nine cases are active. She said 95 cases were of the variant originally detected in the U.K. and 21 of the variant first detected in South Africa.
Henry said two cases of the variant originally discovered in Nigeria are no longer considered a variant of concern, although monitoring continues.
A new outbreak has been declared at the Revera Sunwood Retirement Residence in Maple Ridge, and the outbreak at Burnaby Hospital is now over.
Health Minister Adrian Dix praised the vaccination efforts at long term care homes, which has helped abate the spread of the virus in the vulnerable population of residents.
"We have seen the impact of that and it is heartening and has made a huge difference," he said.
Earlier, B.C. health officials say that managing the mass vaccination program for COVID-19 is shaping up to be a "monumental task," and they're trying to balance speed with careful planning.
In a written statement on Wednesday, Henry and Dix said that "countless" people are working to get everyone who wants the vaccine immunized as quickly and safely as possible.
"Vaccinating our entire population is a monumental task that must account for the diversity of our geography and our population," they said.
"We must consider how to safely deliver vaccine to rural and remote communities, how to connect with seniors and Elders everywhere, and how to ensure the process to get immunized is as simple as possible."
Earlier this week, Henry announced that B.C. is expanding the workforce available to the vaccination program by allowing more health professionals to provide the shot.
- Here's what you need to know about B.C.'s plans for COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that Moderna will meet its contractual obligation to deliver two million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March.
- Police issued tickets totalling over $900 to two BC Ferries passengers for refusing to follow COVID-19 safety protocols while on board.
- COVID-19 levels are declining from the peaks of the second wave across much of Canada, but experts say the threat of more contagious coronavirus variants threatens to jeopardize our ability to prevent a third wave.
What's happening elsewhere in Canada
As of 7 p.m. PT Wednesday, Canada had reported 855,126 cases of COVID-19, with 30,393 cases considered active.
A total of 21,807 people have died.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of taste or smell.
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 other 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.