Big jump in B.C. COVID-19 cases to 737 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Big jump in B.C. COVID-19 cases to 737

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
March 19, 2021 - 4:30 PM

New COVID-19 case numbers in B.C. are at one of the highest levels this year with 737 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

The majority of those, 426, were in the Fraser Health, while the Interior Health region remained stable with 33 new cases.

This comes at a time when a new vaccination stream has been announced that will allow frontline workers to get vaccinated sooner than expected but that’s not enough to stop the immediate spread of COVID-19.

“We also must focus on the individual actions that we need now more than ever to keep each other and our families and communities safe,” states a joint statement issued today, March 19, by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix

As for the rest of the new cases, 163 were in the Vancouver Coastal health region, 32 on Vancouver Island and 82 in the Northern Health region.

There were two more deaths, bringing the provincial total to 1,421.

There are 5,207 active cases in B.C. with 292 people in hospital, 85 of whom are in intensive care.

In the last 24 hours there have been 68 more cases of variants of concern bringing the provincial total to 1,200, of which 149 are active. Almost 1,100 of those cases are the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant.

More than 490,000 doses of vaccine have been administered.

Starting tomorrow afternoon, March 20, people 79 and older along with Indigenous people over 55 in the Interior Health region can book immunization appointments by calling 1-877-740-7747.

Next week, the age of eligibility drops one year per day.

Frontline workers are not to call that age-based number. Their employers will be contacted by health authorities to arrange vaccinations.

“We remind all businesses and workers that the requirement to continue to follow COVID-19 safety plans remains in place - even if workers have been vaccinated,” the statement reads.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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