B.C.’S Covid-19 Response, March 16 Update
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:
“Today, we are reporting on three periods. From March 12 to 13, we had 555 new cases. From March 13 to 14, we had 491 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we had a further 460 new cases, for a total of 1,506 new cases, and a grand total of 88,373 cases in British Columbia.
“There are 4,987 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, of whom 269 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. 76 of these are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“Since we last reported, we have had 382 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 840 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 75 in the Island Health region, 80 in the Interior Health region, 129 in the Northern Health region.
“There have been 163 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province over the last three days, for a total of 880 cases. Of the total cases, 195 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 818 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 41 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 21 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
“To date, 409,103 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 87,059 of which are second doses. Starting today, vaccine appointment bookings are open for people over 84, adding one year each day this week for people 80 and older by the end of the week, along with Indigenous people over 65.
“There have been 10 new COVID-19 related deaths in the last three days, for a total of 1,407 deaths in British Columbia.
“There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at UBC Hospital. The health-care outbreaks at Shaughnessy Care Centre and Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre are now over.
“We have one new community outbreak at Vitrum Glass Group. The outbreak at the North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre is now over. There are no public outbreaks in Interior Health.
“From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our provincial response has changed and adapted based on the latest information, the tools we have available to us and where the greatest risks may be. This will continue to be the case, because it is what is required for the ever-evolving challenges of this pandemic.
“A year ago, our focus was to slow the spread. Now, we have three safe and effective vaccines to protect people around the province.
“With the majority of our seniors and Elders in care immunized, our mass clinics got underway today.
“While the bulk of our available vaccine is focused on our age-based immunization program, we are using the AstraZeneca/SII COVISHIELD vaccine to assist with our community outbreak response – to help break the chains of transmission in communities and worksites that are highest risk. Earlier today in a statement, we announced how the first deployment of AstraZeneca vaccine would be administered in worksites throughout B.C.
“This is a time of hope, as more people get immunized. But it is also time of caution, because the virus continues to circulate in many communities.
“That means we need to stay outside and continue with our safety precautions of few faces, open spaces and safety layers in place.
“It is also important to note the amendment to the order does not supersede the restrictions that remain in place at restaurants and bars, which continue to have a limit of no more than six people at a table – indoors or out.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is still here and we are still facing headwinds. But we also have lots of momentum to push us forward. Let’s use that momentum to get through this pandemic safely.”