BC announces 589 new coronavirus cases, 39 in IH region

589 new cases, 7 deaths

The provincial government has announced 589 new coronavirus cases, including 39 in the Interior Health region.

The new cases bring B.C.’s total since the pandemic began to 79,262, although the vast majority have already recovered. There are 4,665 active cases in the province and 232 people hospitalized, 39 of whom are in the ICU.

There were seven new COVID-19 deaths reported Friday, bringing B.C.’s toll to 1,355.

To date, 252,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 73,808 of which are second doses.

“Today, the Government of Canada announced the approval of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine – the viral vector vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India vaccine. This is very encouraging news for everyone in British Columbia,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement.

“Unlike the vaccines that have been available to date, this new, two-dose viral vector vaccine has the benefit of being ‘fridge stable,’ making it much easier to transport and distribute around the province.

“This new vaccine will be integrated into our provincial immunization program as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks. The additional supply will allow us to look at accelerating immunization of priority populations and essential workers.

“This is another exciting and encouraging step forward for all of us. It means we have one more layer of protection available to us and are one step closer to getting through this pandemic.”

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