B.C. reports 1,262 cases of COVID-19 as province tops 1 million vaccine jabs
VANCOUVER -- B.C. health officials announced another 1,262 cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the province surpassed the one-million mark for vaccine doses distributed.
B.C. has now recorded 109,540 infections since the start of the pandemic, and administered 1,025,019 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix celebrated what they described as "a significant milestone for all of us."
"We will continue to work to get vaccines into arms as soon as we can," the health officials said.
The updated vaccine total includes 937,413 first doses – enough to protect 18 per cent of the province's population – and 87,606 second doses.
Some 40,018 of those shots were given out since Thursday's pandemic briefing, setting a new provincial record for vaccinations completed in a day.
But the news wasn't all good. The latest identified COVID-19 cases – which marked B.C.'s second-highest daily total so far – pushed the province's rolling weekly average to an all-time high of 1,083 per day.
They also increased B.C.'s active caseload to 9,574, the highest it's been since Dec. 21.
Another two people have died from COVID-19 as well, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,495.
As cases remain alarmingly high, Henry and Dix said it's crucial that British Columbians follow all public health orders, which currently ban indoor social gatherings of any size, indoor church services and indoor dining.
They warned that bending the rules now "only delays our ability to put the pandemic behind us."
"Avoid indoor gatherings outside of your household and avoid travel. Get tested if you have even mild symptoms and use all of your layers of protection. This is how we will slow the spread and get ahead of the virus strains that are in our communities right now," Henry and Dix said.
"Let's ensure we are not looking for exceptions to the orders we have in place, but rather looking to how we can help each other to stay small, stay local and stay strong in the face of COVID-19."
Officials also announced another 335 confirmed cases involving variants of concern, for a total of 4,111. Only 105 of those remain active, however.
Approximately 75 per cent of the identified variant cases involve B.1.1.7, the variant associated with the U.K., while the P.1 variant associated with Brazil accounts for about 24 per cent. The rest involve the B.1.351 variant associated with South Africa.
Henry and Dix said the outbreak at Eagle Ridge Hospital has been declared over, leaving 10 active outbreaks in long-term care homes, assisted living facilities and acute care facilities.