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

Melissa Milligan is working to build a disc golf course in Port Hardy. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy’s disc golf survey results are in

138 people in total took the survey, with 94 per cent voting yes.

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Mya Servatius and Marilyn May handing out gift baskets to seniors. (Michelle Tremblay photo)
NISS students practice kindness by giving gifts to seniors

This project wasn’t part of a class at NISS, or for any extra credit.

Port Hardy Fire Rescue map of controlled burning.
Controlled burn happening this weekend on Highland Drive

No unauthorized persons, including media, will be permitted within the “Hot Zone”.

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read