What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for March 3

·3 min read
People in masks walk in front of a mural on the side of Hootsuite’s offices in Vancouver on March 2, 2021.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
People in masks walk in front of a mural on the side of Hootsuite’s offices in Vancouver on March 2, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

THE LATEST:

  • Health officials announced 542 new cases and seven more deaths on Wednesday.

  • To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

  • There are now 246 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 64 in intensive care.

  • There are currently 4,652 active cases of coronavirus in the province.

  • 200 cases of variants of concern have been identified.

  • So far, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,616 of those being second doses.

Another 542 cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths from the disease have been confirmed in B.C., health officials announced Wednesday.

The latest numbers show a steady rise in the rolling seven-day average of new cases and the number of patients in hospital over the last two weeks. Right now, 246 people are in hospital with COVID-19 including 64 in intensive care.

To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 out of 81,909 confirmed cases. There are now 4,652 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Since the province's vaccination program began late in 2020, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,616 second doses.

The numbers come as Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has endorsed B.C.'s plan to space out first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 16 weeks in order to reach more people.

In Wednesday's written statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they were pleased with the endorsement.

"Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, through the available COVID-19 vaccines. With a single primer dose, these vaccines are helping to stop outbreaks and reduce serious illness and death," they said.

B.C. now expects every eligible adult who wants a vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of July. The plan is to space out doses by four months.

Wednesday's update also included another 18 confirmed cases of variants of concern, bringing B.C.'s total to date to 200.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 7:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, Canada had reported 872,747 cases of COVID-19, with 30,252 cases considered active.

A total of 22,045 people have died.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.

  • Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.