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

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

(Photo: MOSAIC/Facebook)
Organization receives $10K from B.C. government to tackle racism in Surrey, White Rock

Funding to go toward forum for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read