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B.C. breaks daily COVID-19 record with 1,013 infections

Last Updated Mar 31, 2021 at 7:49 pm PDT

FILE: A person wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they walk past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver Wednesday, November 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

B.C. has set a new record for daily COVID-19 cases and breached the 100,000 mark for total infections

Three more people have died, bringing the death toll to one thousand 458

More than 756,000 vaccine doses have been administered

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – A staggering 1,013 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the province Wednesday, setting a new record for the daily case count.

The surge comes the same week Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry imposed a three-week “circuit breaker” on some activities to stop an “exponential growth” in infections.

Over the past 24 hours, another three people have died from the virus.

There are 7,405 active cases but of those infections, 301 people are currently in hospital, with 80 patients in intensive care. The rest are recovering at home.

The province is also reporting there’s been one new outbreak at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, but the outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital is over.

Due to a delay in the sequencing analysis for variants of concern, the latest data is not available.

In total, 11,468 people are under public health monitoring because of identified exposure to known cases. A further 91,066 people who tested positive have recovered.

So far, 756,080 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,351 of which are second doses.

People 73 and older can book their appointments as of Wednesday, but in a couple of weeks, the province says people 65 and older will be eligible.

Indigenous peoples 18 and over, people who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” and have received a letter identifying them can also book their appointments.

Read more: Extension to eligible Indigenous vaccine recipients not properly announced: spokesperson

In a joint statement from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, they say front-line workers who were meant to receive the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD still remain a priority.

“Right now, we are waiting on Health Canada’s recommendations to determine what adjustments we may need to make to this immunization stream as a result of the safety signal for those under 55,” they say. “In the meantime, the current supply of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine is being made available to people between the ages of 55 and 65 on the Lower Mainland – our highest transmission area.”

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As we head into Easter weekend, Henry and Dix say that expanded visitation in all long-term care facilities will get underway throughout the province.

“If you are planning to visit your family member or friend, please remember that COVID-19 safety plans must continue to be followed, including wearing masks and staying away if you feel unwell.”

Henry and Dix are also reminding people that no one should be travelling for leisure or vacation outside of their local communities or regions.

“The risk for all of us is too great, which means any of our usual travel and holiday weekend gatherings need to be put on hold this year,” they say. “There are three important things to remember about the COVID-19 vaccines.

“First, everyone will have access to a safe and effective vaccine, and that remains on track to happen before Canada Day.

“Second, the more people who receive a vaccine, the safer we all are, which is why we are working around the clock to get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible.

“Third, we don’t yet have enough people protected through the vaccines to be able to put aside any of our safety precautions, so we need to continue to follow all the public health orders and guidelines we have in place.”

– With files from The Canadian Press