British Columbia reported 521 new cases of COVID-19 in its last update of the month on Friday, along with seven additional deaths.
The total, revised Friday afternoon on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, was 68 fewer than reported in a joint statement from health officials earlier in the day, a discrepancy they attributed of delayed updates in the lab reporting system.
The province had 4,665 active cases, while the number of people isolating grew to 8,040.
Of the new cases, 121 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 282 new cases were in the Fraser Health region, 37 were in the Island Health region, 48 were in the Interior Health region and 33 were in the Northern Health region.
The province has administered a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 178,565 people, about 3.5 per cent of B.C.’s population, and 73,808 second doses.
In the statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix hailed the approval of a third COVID-19 vaccine, produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca.
“Unlike the vaccines that have been available to date, this new, two-dose viral vector vaccine has the benefit of being ‘fridge stable,’ making it much easier to transport and distribute around the province,” they said.
“This new vaccine will be integrated into our provincial immunization program as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks. The additional supply will allow us to look at accelerating immunization of priority populations and essential workers.
There were 232 people in hospital, 63 of whom were in critical or intensive care.
About 92 per cent of B.C.’s 79,194 cases have recovered, while 1,355 people have died.
On Thursday, Henry said B.C. was “not quite there yet” on easing restrictions, pointing to upward trends in transmission and test positivity.
The province would “look to March” as it reconsidered loosening orders banning social gatherings, in-person worship and elements of youth sport.View link »