New daily COVID-19 infections in B.C. hit 10-week high, as vaccinations rise to new record

Two more people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. for a total of 1,421

The spread of COVID-19, including several of its mutant strains, continues to flourish in B.C., according to new data released March 19.

The good news is that health officials are starting to regularly administer a record number of daily doses to a record number of new people.

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Officials in the past day have injected a record 24,438 doses of vaccine into 24,369 new people. Another 69 people received their second needed doses of vaccine. 

The number of people in B.C. who have received at least one dose of vaccine has also passed the 400,000 threshold.

The province has now provided 490,022 doses of vaccine to 402,833 people, with 87,139 individuals having had two doses. 

B.C. health officials detected 737 new infections overnight – the highest single-day total since January 7.

That means that there has now been a total of 90,786 infections since the first case of the virus was identified in B.C. in late January, 2020. Of those, an even 1,200 are cases of what health officials call "variants of concern," because they are thought to spread more easily than the main COVID-19 virus. The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the U.K., remains the dominant mutant strain of COVID-19 in B.C.

"That's a good thing because that one we know the vaccines are still, relatively, very effective against," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said yesterday. "In some of the others – particularly the Brazilian [P.1] variant – there's concern that vaccines don't work as well."

B.C. now has identified 1,094 cases of the B.1.1.7 strain, up 54 from yesterday.

Only 65 cases of the Brazilian variant have been discovered in B.C., although that number has been rising, and was 14 a week ago.

The third main strain of variant COVID-19 viruses in B.C. is the B.1.351 strain, which was first detected in South Africa. There are 41 cases of that strain, and there have been no newly discovered cases of that variant since March 15.

More than 92.6%, or 84,078 people, who have been infected, are deemed by the province to have recovered. 

Of the 5,207 people actively battling infections in B.C., the vast majority have been told to self-isolate. Serious cases of infection also continue, however, with 292 people in hospitals, and 85 of those sick enough to be in intensive care units. 

Another two people died while infected with the virus in B.C. in the past day, for a total of 1,421 people since the first death was recorded on March 9, 2020.

Health officials are actively monitoring 9,412 people for symptoms because those individuals have had known contact with at least one person identified as carrying the virus.

Here is the breakdown of where the 737 newly infected people reside, by health region:
• 163 in Vancouver Coastal Health (22.1%);
• 426 in Fraser Health (57.8%);
• 32 in Island Health (4.3%);
• 33 in Interior Health (4.4%);
• 82 in Northern Health (11.1%); and
• one person who resides outside Canada.

No new outbreaks have been detected at seniors' homes. The outbreak at Holmberg House Hospice in the Fraser Health region is now over.

That means, the Vancouver Coastal Health, Island Health and Northern Health regions continue to have no outbreaks at seniors' homes. 

The three active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• Fleetwood Place in Surrey;
• Oceana PARC in White Rock, and
• Revera Sunwood in Maple Ridge.

The two active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at the Florentine in Merritt, and at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna.

There are also eight active COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. hospitals.

The eight hospitals in B.C. that have outbreaks are:
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody;
• Kelowna General Hospital in Kelowna;
• Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
• UBC Hospital, and
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver.



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