British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for March 5

As increasing vaccine supplies bring hopes of an end to B.C.'s COVID-19 pandemic, the spread of variants of concern has health officials expressing caution about the future.

Friday's update included 634 new cases and 4 more deaths

The Interior Health Authority says more than 250,000 people in the health region have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Health Canada has approved the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use.
  • Friday's update included 634 new cases and four more deaths.
  • As of Friday, there are 255 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 66 in intensive care.
  • To date, 1,380 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19.
  • There are currently 4,901 active cases of coronavirus in the province.
  • 250 cases of variants of concern have been identified.
  • So far, 311,208 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,865 of those being second doses. 

Despite the optimism that has come with an increasing vaccine supply, B.C. recorded the highest number of new cases since Jan. 7. 

On Friday, health officials announced 634 new cases of COVID-19

"Our days are brighter, but the number of new cases remains higher than where we want it to be. So, as we get outside and enjoy the many activities we can do safely, let's ensure we are also staying the course with our safety measures," said Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in a written statement.

Health Canada has approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, CBC News learned Friday.

The U.S. health-care giant's one-shot vaccine is the fourth to be approved in Canada.

Friday's update also included four more deaths, and four more confirmed cases of more transmissible variants of concern, bringing the province's total to 250. Public health has not been able to identify the source of transmission for about 25 per cent of those cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people under active monitoring is at its highest point since Dec. 31 and the number of hospitalizations is the highest since Feb. 4. 

As B.C. approaches one year under public health restrictions, the province extended the deadline for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program from March 31 to Aug. 31.

One of the key requirements has also changed to allow more businesses to be eligible for the grant, which offers up to $30,000 in aid. Businesses now only need to show a 30 per cent revenue loss over a month between March 2020 and the current date, when compared to the same one-month period the year before. The previous requirement was a 70 per cent loss.

As of Friday, a total of 255 people are in hospital with the disease, including 66 in intensive care, out of 4,901 active cases.

To date, 1,380 people have died of COVID-19, out of 83,107 confirmed cases.

Since the province's vaccination program began in late 2020, 311,208 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,865 second doses. 

READ MORE:

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 8:30 p.m. PT  Thursday, Canada had reported 878,391 cases of COVID-19, with 29,903 cases considered active.

A total of 22,151 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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