What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Feb. 24

·3 min read
A person in a mask crosses Main Street in Vancouver on Feb. 23, 2021.
A person in a mask crosses Main Street in Vancouver on Feb. 23, 2021.

(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

THE LATEST:

  • Health officials announced 456 new cases and 2 more deaths on Wednesday.

  • There are 4,668 active cases of novel coronavirus in B.C.

  • 237 people are in hospital, including 64 in intensive care.

  • To date, 1,338 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C. out of 78,278 confirmed cases.

  • 230,875 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 62,608 second doses.

Another 456 cases of COVID-19 have been added to B.C.'s pandemic numbers, along with two more deaths, health officials announced Wednesday.

The latest figures mean that there are now 4,668 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. Of those, 237 people are in hospital, including 64 in intensive care.

To date, 1,338 people have died of the disease out of 78,278 confirmed cases.

There have been no new outbreaks, and the outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon has been declared over after two people there died of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, B.C. is preparing to ramp up its COVID-19 immunization program, bringing more health professionals into the workforce, as it sets the stage for mass vaccination clinics.

As of Wednesday, 230,875 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 62,608 second doses.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Tuesday that she has issued a new public health order that allows health-care professionals including dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians and retired nurses to participate in vaccination. Health officials say they will reveal more details next week about plans to vaccinate everyone over the age of 80.

At the same time as the vaccination program is expanding, however, case counts and test positivity rates are starting to climb again, causing concern for health officials.

"We're in a period of vaccine hope and pandemic reality," Henry said Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, just under seven per cent of tests for the novel coronavirus are now coming back positive across the province, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 dashboard. In the Northern Health region, more than 13 per cent of tests are now positive.

READ MORE:

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 6 p.m. PT Tuesday, Canada had reported 852,269 cases of COVID-19, with 30,677 cases considered active.

A total of 21,762 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.