B.C. records 497 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 more deaths

·3 min read
Hospitalizations continue to fall in B.C., down nearly seven per cent from a week ago. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Hospitalizations continue to fall in B.C., down nearly seven per cent from a week ago. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 497 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Friday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 3,420 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 358 people are in hospital, with 109 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by nearly seven per cent from last Friday, when 384 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 12 per cent from 124 a week ago.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,293 lives lost out of 214,636 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 146 new cases in Interior Health, which has 657 total active cases.

  • 138 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,244 total active cases.

  • 78 new cases in Northern Health, which has 498 total active cases.

  • 71 new cases in Island Health, which has 454 total active cases.

  • 64 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 511 total active cases.

  • There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has 56 total active cases.

There are a total of 21 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care facilities.

A new outbreak has been declared at Laurier Manor, an assisted living facility in the Northern Health Authority. The province has declared an outbreak at Rosemary Heights Seniors Village over.

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital

  • Burnaby Hospital

  • Ridge Meadows Hospital

  • Royal Inland Hospital

  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

As of Friday, 90.8 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 87 per cent a second dose.

From Nov. 11 to 17, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 59.5 per cent of cases and from Nov. 4, they accounted for 70.4 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

So far, 8.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 4.03 million second doses.

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for children 5-11

On Friday morning Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11.

"After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between five and 11 years of age outweigh the risks," Health Canada wrote in a statement Friday morning.

"This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in this age group and marks a major milestone in Canada's fight against COVID-19."

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is delivered in doses one-third the size of those given to adults and kids 12 and older. Health Canada authorized a two-dose regimen to be administered three weeks apart.

The first doses of the vaccine for those aged five to 11 will start to arrive in Canada on Sunday, Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi said on Friday.

Tassi said the government and Pfizer-BioNTech had agreed already to an accelerated delivery schedule and more than 2.9 million doses will be shipped by the end of the week — enough to provide a first dose to every eligible Canadian child.

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