The race to vaccinate British Columbians against COVID-19 heated up Friday, with the province reporting highs in case and hospitalization numbers not seen since January.
In a written statement, health officials reported 737 new cases of the virus, the most since Jan. 7, along with two new deaths.
The seven-day moving average of new cases, at 559, was also the highest it has been since Jan. 12.
Of the new cases, 163 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 426 were in the Fraser Health region, 32 were in the Island Health region, 33 were in the Interior Health region and 82 were in the Northern Health region.
There were 5,207 active cases, the highest since Jan. 7, while more than 9,400 people were isolating due to exposure.
And there were 292 people in hospital, the highest since Jan. 31. Eighty-five of those people were in critical or intensive care.
The province also identified another 68 cases of COVID-19 variants of concern, for a provincial total of 1,200 — 149 of which remain active.
As of Friday, 402,833 British Columbians — about 7.8 per cent of B.C.’s population, had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Just over 87,000 people have also had a second shot.
On Saturday, vaccine bookings will open for British Columbians aged 79 and up, moving downward in one-year age brackets throughout the week.
About 92 per cent of B.C.’s 90,786 cases have recovered, while 1,421 people have died.
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