B.C. records 498 new cases of COVID-19 and 4 more deaths

·2 min read
A member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation leaves after getting their COVID-19 vaccination on March 10, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation leaves after getting their COVID-19 vaccination on March 10, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 498 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 281 people, 83 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 1,411 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 4,851 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 9,472 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 83,083 people who tested positive have recovered.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. There were six active outbreaks in long-term care facilities and three in independent living facilities as of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's last outbreak report on March 11.

So far, 444,140 people have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 87,093 of those being second doses.

According to the statement, there is no new data available about variants of concern Wednesday due to a lab sequencing issue. As of the most recent report, there have been 996 confirmed COVID-19 cases identified in B.C. that are variants of concern.

Keep it small and safe

Those who celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday are asked to respect public health guidelines. Last week, Henry announced that last call at restaurants, pubs and liquor stores will be at 8 p.m. PT.

British Columbia's state of emergency was again extended on Tuesday for the 26th time, meaning it will be in effect until the end of day on March 30, 2021. The province officially went into a state of emergency on March 18, 2020.

Health officials again reiterated that while outdoor gatherings in groups of 10 are now permitted, as long as people stick to the same group, British Columbians must continue to see each other in settings that are safe.

"If you choose to see others, then please connect safely, so you are not inadvertently increasing the risks to your loved ones or yourself," said Henry and Dix in the written statement.

"Some may choose a day of snowshoeing, others a bike ride with friends or a playdate at your local beach. The key is to keep it small, to keep to the same group of people and to keep using your protective layers."