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B.C. reports 1,506 new COVID-19 cases over three days, as total deaths top 1,400

Click to play video: 'B.C. officials report 1,506 new COVID-19 cases over three days and 10 additional deaths' B.C. officials report 1,506 new COVID-19 cases over three days and 10 additional deaths
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 1,506 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 15, and 10 related deaths in the last 72-hours. Dr. Henry also provides an update on the mass vaccination clinics opening up across the province. – Mar 15, 2021

B.C. recorded 1,506 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days, along with 10 deaths.

There were 555 new cases from Friday to Saturday, 491 cases from Saturday to Sunday, and 460 cases from Sunday to Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported Monday. Eight of the cases were epi-linked.

Of the new cases, 382 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 840 were in the Fraser Health region, 75 were in Island Health, 80 were in Interior Health, and 129 were in Northern Health.

Click to play video: 'B.C. COVID-19 vaccination roll out picks up pace as seniors begin getting shots' B.C. COVID-19 vaccination roll out picks up pace as seniors begin getting shots
B.C. COVID-19 vaccination roll out picks up pace as seniors begin getting shots – Mar 15, 2021

Henry also reported 163 cases of new variants of concern.

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The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases stands at 543, an increase of six from Friday. The seven-day average for new cases had been as low as 408 on Feb. 17.

The 10 deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,407.

The number of people in hospital with the disease rose by 14 to 269. Of those, 76 are in intensive care, an increase of nine.

There are 4,987 active COVID-19 cases in the province while more than 9,000 people are self-isolating due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 6.6 per cent.

The province has administered 409,103 doses of vaccine, and just over 87,000 people have received two doses, Henry said, adding mass clinics that began Monday are expected to ramp up quickly over the coming months.

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on safety of AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clotting in some countries' Dr. Bonnie Henry on safety of AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clotting in some countries
Dr. Bonnie Henry on safety of AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clotting in some countries – Mar 15, 2021

Read more: A look at one of B.C.’s drive-thru vaccination clinics as program gets underway Monday

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Health Minister Adrian Dix said people aged 83 and older can make an appointment Tuesday and the age eligibility drops daily until anyone 80 and up can make arrangements for a jab by Friday.

The B.C. government said the first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine coming to the province will be used by priority and front-line workers before Phase 3 starts.

Read more: B.C.’s first batch of AstraZeneca headed for workers at food processing plants, industrial camps

A joint statement from the provincial health officer and health minister said poultry, fish and fruit processing plants; agricultural operations; and large industrial camps will be targeted for the shots.

Read more: Why is B.C. on its 1st age group when Alberta is opening vaccination to anyone 65+?

Click to play video: 'B.C. looks to allow small outdoor religious service gatherings once again' B.C. looks to allow small outdoor religious service gatherings once again
B.C. looks to allow small outdoor religious service gatherings once again – Mar 15, 2021

Some European countries have stopped giving out the vaccine over possible side-effects of blood clots.

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The statement said the best vaccine is the one that’s available.

Henry said she is considering loosening public health orders in the coming days on gatherings for religious services.

— With files from Amy Judd, Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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