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B.C. reports 498 new COVID-19 cases, four deaths

Click to play video: 'B.C. reports 498 new COVID-19 cases, and four additional deaths' B.C. reports 498 new COVID-19 cases, and four additional deaths
B.C. health officials release a written statement with the daily COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday, March 17. Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey has the numbers and has a preview of Thursday's 1 p.m. PT briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. – Mar 17, 2021

B.C. recorded four COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday along with 498 new cases.

Of the new cases, 128 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 291 were in the Fraser Health region, 12 were in Island Health, 31 were in Interior Health, and 36 were in Northern Health. A total of 8,843 tests were conducted.

Click to play video: 'B.C. premier comments on stubborn COVID-19 case numbers' B.C. premier comments on stubborn COVID-19 case numbers
B.C. premier comments on stubborn COVID-19 case numbers – Mar 17, 2021

The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 6.5 per cent.

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The deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,411.

There are 4,851 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, a decrease of 148 from Tuesday.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose slightly to 281. Of those, 83 people are in intensive care. The province has a seen a recent rise in hospitalizations, which have increased by more than 40 in nine days. The number of patients in ICU has risen by a third since March 2.

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The province said it was not able to release data on variants of concern on Wednesday due to a lab-sequencing issue.

Read more: Health officials urge St. Patrick’s Day revellers to keep up COVID-19 guidelines

On Tuesday, the province said there had been a total of 996 confirmed cases involving variants of concern, of which 130 were active.

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The province said more than 444,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,093 of which were second doses.

Read more: B.C. reports 556 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise

Public health officials across Canada have urged St. Patrick’s Day revellers to follow physical distancing and other anti-pandemic guidelines.

British Columbia has ordered bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol at 8 p.m.

— With files from Amy Judd and The Canadian Press

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