What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 21

·3 min read

THE LATEST:

  • Health officials have called off their regular Thursday briefing to hold a Friday-morning news conference instead.

  • 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths were reported Thursday afternoon.

  • There are currently 4,450 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C.

  • 309 people are in hospital, with 68 in the ICU.

  • 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses.

  • There is new community cluster in and around Williams Lake.

  • There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, but six have been declared over.

On Thursday, B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 309 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care. Hospitalizations are now at their lowest level since Nov. 28

A total of 1,119 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Henry and Dix said a new community cluster has been detected in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, and six outbreaks have been declared over.

So far, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses.

Evan Mitsui/CBC
Evan Mitsui/CBC

Health officials cancelled their regular COVID-19 briefing Thursday as they prepared to update the province's strategy for immunization against the virus, and the daily update was provided in a written statement instead.

Henry and Dix will join a news conference Friday with Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization rollout.

The four are expected to comment on the next steps in the immunization program that has been complicated by a hiccup in vaccine supply from Pfizer-BioNTech.

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Canada had reported 724,670 cases of COVID-19, and 18,462 total deaths.

A total of 68,413 cases are considered active.

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 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.