Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 climb continues with 716 cases Wednesday

71 new virus variant positive tests in the past 24 hours

B.C.’s rise in COVID-19 infections continued Wednesday with 716 more cases, three deaths and 303 people in hospital around the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix warned this week that infections have begun creeping up for a third time in the year-long pandemic, partly because of the spread of three variant strains that are being tracked in B.C.

The number of people in hospital has crept up over 300 in recent days as infections rose, with 556 cases in the 24 hours up to Saturday, 598 to Sunday, 631 to Monday and another 682 on Tuesday.

“Since we last reported, we have had 230 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 383 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 21 in the Island Health region, 38 in the Interior Health region, 42 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada,” Dix and Henry said in a statement March 24.

“There have been 71 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 1,581 cases. Of the total cases, 148 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 1,397 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 44 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 140 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

“To date, 582,634 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,180 of which are second doses. Vaccine appointment bookings are now open for people 76 or older, and Indigenous peoples over 55.”

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