COVID-19 on Vancouver Island: B.C

BC reports a surge in COVID hospitalizations and ICU patients, confirms 3,289 new cases over the weekend

Vancouver Coastal Health says there were 1,505 cases in Whistler between January 1 and April 5, and the Howe Sound health area has the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province.

The new COVID-19 cases push the total number confirmed in the county to 19,996, according to Public Health data.

"If you live in the Lower Mainland, you should not be travelling to the island".

All of these individuals were seen at various community respiratory clinics where they were assessed and tested for COVID-19.

Of the active cases, 368 individuals are now hospitalized with COVID-19, 121 of whom are in intensive care.

"This is, I don't need to say, our third wave, and knowing this, we need to chart our best path forward to manage this wave in British Columbia", Henry said.

"If a business is causing transmission, we need to take action", she said.

"Everybody will be able to get vaccine by June".

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There has been 1,112,101 doses of vaccine administered in B.C., including 87,744 second doses. 223,113 residents have been fully vaccinated, which is about 19% of the county's total population of 1.1 million people.

As of Monday, British Columbians aged 65 or older, Indigenous people aged 18 or older, and those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable can book their vaccine appointments. By Monday, April 19, those aged 40 and up will be allowed to register.

She says certain neighbourhoods will also be targeted as the province's age-based program now books people aged 65 and up for immunization, though the Pfizer vaccine has not been arriving as reliably as the one by Moderna.

Still, the county has been delivering vaccinations at a steadier pace in recent weeks as the availability of supplies has increased.

Since the online vaccine portal opened on April 6, 730,000 people have registered and 200,000 have booked their shot.

Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that the province has the capacity to deliver many more doses daily than it is right now, but the supply is not yet high enough.

There were outbreaks at two long-term care homes over the past three days, bringing the total active outbreaks in care facilities and hospitals to 13. "And we can look toward the summer when we'll have opportunities to be together again", Henry says.

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