For Friday’s COVID-19 update, health officials announce 634 new cases in B.C., including 26 on Vancouver Island.
There are 4,901 active cases in the province with 255 people currently in hospital. Of those, 66 are in critical care or ICU.
There are currently 246 active cases on Vancouver Island: 55 on the South Island, 139 in the mid-Island and 62 on the North end.
In the past 24 hours, there have been 4 more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing B.C.’s total to 1,380 since the pandemic first began.
Of the new 634 cases, three are epi-linked. There are 149 in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, 365 are in Fraser Health, 26 people tested positive for the virus on Vancouver Island, Interior Health saw 33 new cases and there were 60 new cases in Nothern Health.
Since the beginning of the vaccine rollout, 311,208 people have been immunized against COVID-19, 86,865 of those are second doses.
Yesterday, Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry apologized to communities and individuals who did not receive their second dose after they were promised one.
The doctor says if they had administered all of the second doses, there would be very little vaccine left for any more first doses. Now, the second dose has been delayed for up to four months for individuals waiting to complete their vaccine shots.
There have now been a total of 83,107 reported cases in the province since the start of the pandemic and 76,752 people have recovered.
Dr. Henry says 8,861 are under public health watch.
There have been four new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 250 cases.
Of the total cases, 12 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 222 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. variant, and 28 cases of the B.1.351 variant, from South Africa.
Although Friday’s numbers are an increase from the previous day, Dr. Henry says there is good news on the horizon.
“This has been a week of progress in our COVID-19 response, as we ready our province to begin our age-based immunizations and integrate the AstraZeneca-SII vaccine into our program,” said Dr. Henry.
“Building on this momentum, the federal government approved a fourth COVID-19 vaccine today. The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine is another tool in our immunization program that will help accelerate protection of people throughout our province.
Starting on Monday, vaccine appointment bookings for people over 90 and Indigenous people over 65 will get underway, with appointments available in communities provincewide.
Health officials are asking anyone outside of this age group to wait to call until their registration window begins.
This story will be updated as more information is released.