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.
Henry also reported 163 cases of new variants of concern.
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.
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.
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.
Some European countries have stopped giving out the vaccine over possible side-effects of blood clots.
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