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B.C. had 564 new COVID-19 cases, four deaths, in past 24 hours

564 new cases, four deaths

Another 564 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in British Columbia in the past 24 hours, with 36 of the cases coming from the Interior.

The new cases bring the total positive tests in the province to 82,473, but there remains 4,743 active cases. Active cases rose by 89 since Wednesday.

Of these, 248 British Columbians are hospitalized with the virus – up two since Wednesday – 63 of whom are being treated in ICU.

Another 8,659 people are self-isolating after coming into contact with a COVID-positive person.

Four more British Columbians have died from the virus, bringing the total COVID-related deaths in B.C. to 1,376.

No new outbreaks were declared Thursday, and there remains outbreaks in seven long-term care homes, three independent living homes and eight acute care facilities.

B.C. saw the largest single-day jump in "variants of concern" in the past day, with 46 new cases identified, bringing the total found in the province to 246. There remains 16 active cases of variants of concern in B.C.

Of these 246, 218 are the B.1.1.7 (or U.K.-linked) variant and 28 are the B.1.351 (or South African-linked) variant. The vast majority of these variants of concerns have been found in the Lower Mainland, with just two found in the Interior and six on Vancouver Island.

Another 9,042 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total doses to 298,851 doses so far. Of these, 86,746 have been second doses.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said the recently approved AstraZeneca vaccine should be arriving in B.C. next week. This vaccine will largely be provided to first responders and other essential workers, while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will continue to be administered by age, with older people receiving them first.

Dr. Henry said they are currently figuring out who will receive the AstraZeneca vaccines first. While the first shipment next week will go to people in outbreaks and clusters in communities across the province, she said she hopes to have a plan for essential workers sorted out by March 18.



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