B.C.’s vaccine rollout has struggled with a massive surge of phone calls, with public health officials asking everyone to be patient and observe the schedule for making appointments by age group. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s vaccine rollout has struggled with a massive surge of phone calls, with public health officials asking everyone to be patient and observe the schedule for making appointments by age group. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

COVID-19 variant cases climb in B.C. as vaccinations continue

182 cases of variant strains among 550 new cases diagnosed

B.C. recorded 550 new cases of COVID-19 infection Tuesday, with 182 of them the “variants of concern” that are being tracked by public health officials.

The surge in variant cases, identified by DNA analysis, began with 144 cases identified over the weekend, with the most in one day Tuesday.

“There have been 182 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 576 cases,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement March 9. “Of the total cases, 113 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 530 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 33 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 13 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.”

B.C.’s coronavirus vaccine program has reached 343,381 as clinics around the province are prepared for the start of mass public vaccination next week. Regional health authorities have started booking appointments for community vaccination clinics due to open March 15. People aged 90 and older in the community, and Indigenous people 65 and over, are making appointments for the first week, with those aged 85 and over to start calling next week.

There were two new COVID-19-related deaths as of Tuesday, one year after the first person died of the novel coronavirus, for a total of 1,393 deaths since the pandemic began. There are 249 people in hospital, 68 in intensive care.

One new health care facility outbreak, with at least one positive test, was reported at Fleetwood Place in Surrey. Outbreaks at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay and Fleetwood Villa in Surrey have been declared over.

“Now, with every new person who is vaccinated, we can take comfort in knowing with each immunization, we all benefit – Elders, seniors, families and communities,” Dix and Henry said. “Let’s keep moving forward and doing our part to put COVID-19 behind us.”

RELATED: Telus adding more call centre agents for vaccine rollout

RELATED: B.C. reports 144 variant COVID-19 cases over weekend


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members from the BC Wildfire Service and the Williams Lake Fire Department are conducting controlled burns at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds and at Boitanio Park today, April 20, in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Fire department, wildfire service, conducting controlled burns in Boitanio Park, Stampede Grounds April 20

Locations include at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds and in Boitanio Park

Smoke rising from a slash pile near Canim-Hendrix Road on Tuesday, April 20. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Blaze on Canim-Hendrix Lake Road a false alarm

The smoke was coming from a legal under-control slash pile

Jason and Pharis Romero’s latest album <em>Bet on Love</em> garnered three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Here Patrick Metzger, bass, from left, Jason, Pharis and Marc Jenkins perform at Arts on the Fly 2019 in Horsefly. Both Metzger and Jenkins performed on the album, as well as John Reischman on mandolin. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Romeros’ latest album garners three Canadian Folk Music Awards

Recorded in Horsefly, Bet on Love was released in May 2020

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

The Nazko River is under a flood warning. (Emcon Services Inc. Facebook photo)
Nazko River under flood warning

Rest of the Cariboo, including Quesnel and Williams Lake at lowest advisory level

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton ready to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to authorize legal action

Interior Health issued warning April 18, 2021 of crack cocaine in Penticton that looks similar to the substance above containing fentanyl. (Interior Health photo)
Interior Health warns of fentanyl contaminated crack-cocaine in Penticton

There have been recent reports of overdose associated with the use of this substance

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Most Read