Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:
“Today, we are reporting 716 new cases, including two epi-linked cases, for a total of 93,969 cases in British Columbia.
“There are 5,573 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 9,696 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 86,857 people who tested positive have recovered.
“Of the active cases, 303 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 85 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“Since we last reported, we have had 230 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 383 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 21 in the Island Health region, 38 in the Interior Health region, 42 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
“There have been 71 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 1,581 cases. Of the total cases, 148 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 1,397 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 44 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 140 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
“To date, 582,634 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,180 of which are second doses. Vaccine appointment bookings are now open for people 76 or older, and Indigenous peoples over 55.
“There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,441 deaths in British Columbia.
“Just as our COVID-19 pandemic response has required a ‘whole-of-province’ effort, so too does our COVID-19 immunization program.
“Together, hundreds of public health experts, physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals are leading the efforts to safely get vaccine into as many arms as possible, as quickly as we can.
“We have seen much progress in recent weeks. The timing for our age-based program has been accelerated, front-line workers will soon be immunized and now, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable with complex and challenging health conditions will also be able to get immunized.
“Starting next Monday, March 29, people who receive a clinically extremely vulnerable letter will also be able to book vaccine appointments.
“Today, Premier John Horgan announced that a new team of people from the tourism sector will be joining the age-based vaccination efforts to provide non-clinical support to our immunizations teams.
“There may be more hurdles or challenges ahead, but we can be assured knowing that our greatest strength throughout this pandemic has been working together, united in our focus to get through this storm. Let’s all be a part of the team that is helping to make a difference through our individual and collective efforts.”
To view the March 18, 2021, immunization PowerPoint presentations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/03.18.2021_COVID_Immunization_Plan.pdf
Latest vaccine information:
For vaccine information, visit the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
Joint Statement on first deployment of AstraZeneca vaccine in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24001
Provincial health officer orders and guidance:
The latest updates, guidance and information on COVID-19, and where to get tested:
The latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For data regarding ongoing outbreaks in long-term care, assisted-living and independent-living facilities in B.C., visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data#outbreak
Mental health support:
Mental health and anxiety support: www.bouncebackbc.ca
To share your feedback in the Personal Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, visit: https://www.bcchr.ca/POP/our-research/pics
Non-health related information:
Financial, child care and education support, travel, transportation and essential service information: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19 or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information by health authority:
BCCDC (flights, work sites, etc): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
A backgrounder follows.