B.C. recorded 1,506 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days, along with 10 deaths.

There were 555 new cases from Friday to Saturday, 491 cases from Saturday to Sunday, and 460 cases from Sunday to Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported Monday. Eight of the cases were epi-linked.

Of the new cases, 382 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 840 were in the Fraser Health region, 75 were in Island Health, 80 were in Interior Health, and 129 were in Northern Health.

The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases stands at 543, an increase of six from Friday. The seven-day average for new cases had been as low as 408 on Feb. 17.

B.C. COVID-19 vaccination roll out picks up pace as seniors begin getting shots

B.C. COVID-19 vaccination roll out picks up pace as seniors begin getting shots

The 10 deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,407.

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The number of people in hospital with the disease rose by 14 to 269. Of those, 76 are in intensive care, an increase of nine.

There are 4,987 active COVID-19 cases in the province while more than 9,000 people are self-isolating due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The numbers come as mass COVID-19 vaccinations for the general population in B.C. are now officially underway.

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The province also announced that British Columbians aged 80 to 84 can start booking their vaccination appointments this week, one week earlier than expected.

The B.C. government said the first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine coming to the province will be used by priority and front-line workers before Phase 3 starts.

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A joint statement from the provincial health officer and health minister said poultry, fish and fruit processing plants; agricultural operations; and large industrial camps will be targeted for the shots.

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Some European countries have stopped giving out the vaccine over possible side-effects of blood clots.

The statement said the best vaccine is the one that’s available.

— With files from Amy Judd, Simon Little and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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