British Columbia reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with two additional deaths.

In a written statement, health officials said active cases had dipped slightly to 4,668, while another 7,924 people were isolating due to possible exposure.

Of the new cases, 108 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 259 were in the Fraser Health region, 35 were in the Island Health region, 30 were in the Interior Health region and 20 were in the Northern Health region.

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Coronavirus: Alberta’s online vaccine booking tool crashes, no new cases in B.C. LTC

Coronavirus: Alberta’s online vaccine booking tool crashes, no new cases in B.C. LTC

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There were 237 people in hospital, 64 of whom were in critical or intensive care.

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The province has administered a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 168,267 people, or about 3.3 per cent of B.C.’s population, and the full two-dose immunization to 62,608 people.

In Wednesday’s statement provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix described the process of vaccinating everyone in B.C. as a “monumental task” complicated by B.C.’s diverse geography and population.

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“We must consider how to safely deliver vaccine to rural and remote communities, how to connect with seniors and elders everywhere, and how to ensure the process to get immunized is a simple as possible,” they said.

“We are pushing hard right now, and we must continue to balance speed with the need for careful planning.”

The province says it will start vaccination of people born before 1941 and who receive home support as of March 1, and of anyone over the age of 80 starting March 15.

Earlier Wednesday, the province said it had begun hiring more professionals in advance of that vaccine rollout.

About 92 per cent of B.C.’s 78,278 total cases have recovered, while 1,338 people have died.

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