Hannah Ankenmann receives her first shot of COVID-19 vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse in early March. Small communities on Vancouver Island are receiving vaccine for entire communities. (Zoe Ducklow/North Island Gazette)

Hannah Ankenmann receives her first shot of COVID-19 vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse in early March. Small communities on Vancouver Island are receiving vaccine for entire communities. (Zoe Ducklow/North Island Gazette)

B.C.’s COVID-19 case count climbs to 737 on Friday

Up to 292 people in hospital, two more deaths

B.C.’s COVID-19 case count was up to 737 Friday, after 622 new infections on Thursday, a notable increase from recent days, but with increasing vaccine protection, there were no new health care outbreaks for the fourth straight day.

There were 292 people in hospital as of Friday, up from 286 in the previous 24 hours, with 85 in critical care units. Officials reported two more deaths related to the novel coronavirus, for a total of 1,421 in B.C. since the pandemic began a year ago.

For the first part of the week, new cases totalled 491 for Sunday, 460 Monday, 556 Tuesday and 498 on Wednesday.

Vaccine doses delivered in B.C. are now more than 490,000 as the age-based vaccination program continues in communities across the province. People aged 80 and up are eligible to book appointments as of March 19, with age 79 and up eligible to call as of Saturday, March 20. Appointment details and phone numbers can be found here.

Front-line workers including in grocery stores, schools and emergency services such as police and paramedics are being prioritized for vaccine starting in April, using AstraZeneca vaccine made available from a supplier in India and soon from the U.S. Employee groups will be contacted and are not to call the health authority appointment lines, which are reserved for the age-based vaccination program.

“The selection of the front-line workers for part two of this program is based on the known risk of transmission, as well as the nature and size of the workplace environment,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement March 19. “We remind all businesses and workers that the requirement to continue to follow COVID-19 safety plans remains in place, even if workers have been vaccinated.

“We also remind workers that health authorities will contact employers directly to arrange immunizations, and calling the age-based booking line will not provide access to the parallel AstraZeneca/SII vaccine program.”

RELATED: B.C. aims to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July

RELATED: Emergency, grocery, school staff to get shots starting April


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

Kieran Christison, manager of Daybreak Farms in Terrace inspects eggs on Oct. 30, 2020. Christison wants to transition to a zero waste, cage-free facility. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Daybreak Farms aiming to achieve zero-waste, cage-free facility

Kieran Christison, manager, presented the farm’s future plans to Terrace city council

Mercedes Trigo, assistant manager, said that Trigo’s Lifestyle Store in Terrace has experienced four broken windows and an attempted break-in recently, leaving her feeling unsupported by bystanders and the police. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Trigo’s management frustrated by property damage, theft

In a little over a month there have been four broken windows and an attempted break-in at the store

Two RCMP officers have been recognized for their actions in responding to an incident involving a man with a weapon at 4501 Park Ave. on the afternoon of April 27, 2020. RCMP say it was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the general public. (Jake Wray photo)
Terrace RCMP officers recognized for acts of bravery

Two involved in arrest of armed suspect

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Grade 2 and 3 classes from a North Okanagan elementary took over Letters page of this Black Press newspaper

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read