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B.C. reports 1,785 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths over three days

Click to play video: 'B.C. reports 1,785 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths over three days' B.C. reports 1,785 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths over three days
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 1,785 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 22, and 16 additionals deaths in the last 72-hours. Dr. Henry also provides an update on the AstraZeneca vaccine after a U.S. trial data shows 79% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. – Mar 22, 2021

B.C. health officials recorded 1,785 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days along with 16 deaths.

There were 556 cases from Friday to Saturday while 598 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 631 from Sunday to Monday.

Of the new cases, 469 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,010 were in the Fraser Health region, 89 were in Island Health, 84 were in Interior Health, and 133 were in Northern Health.

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The province reported 166 new cases linked to COVID-19 variants of concern. A total of 1,366 variant cases have been reported in B.C., of which 237 are active.

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The 16 deaths over the past 72 hours bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,437.

The seven-day average for new cases is 600, a seven per cent rise since the province last reported COVID-19 numbers on Friday.

Read more: ‘Out of the blue’: Mayor surprised, excited seniors 60+ eligible for vaccine in Sicamous

The number of people in hospital with the disease rose by 11 to 303 while the number of patients in intensive care dropped by five to 80.

There are 5,290 active cases of COVID-19 in the province while 9,330 people are self-isolating due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates has climbed to 7.5 per cent.

The numbers came amid concerns of a possible third wave as the cases linked to COVID-19 variants of concern continue to mount.

“Concerningly, we’re starting to see younger people who are being affected end(ing) up in hospital and needing hospital and ICU care,” she said

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that the rise in new cases can be linked to workplaces and homes and that variants leave “less margin for error.”

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“What I can say is we know that the B.1.1.7 variant is more transmissible,” she said. “It’s much easier to spread it with even minimal contact in indoor settings.”

Earlier this month, the province loosened restrictions to allow outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 people.

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The province has administered 539,408 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive continues to gain momentum as the federal public health agency prepares to take delivery of the largest number of doses since the launch of the immunization effort.

Read more: B.C. COVID-19 vaccination information — Contacts, timelines and what you need to know

Nearly 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are set to arrive this week, alongside 846,000 shots of the product developed by Moderna.

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— with files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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