The number of active COVID-19 cases and people hospitalized with COVID in the Northern Health region continued to drop on Friday.
There were 22 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the north of Friday. However, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported the number of active cases had dropped to 177 – down from 195 the day before. The number of people hospitalized in northern B.C. with the disease was also down, 14 on Friday (including six in critical care) compared to 18 hospitalized on Thursday.
No new COVID-related deaths were reported in the region on Friday, leaving the north's death toll from the pandemic at 140.
Nearly 40 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement on Friday afternoon. Nearly 1.79 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province, including 90,934 in the Northern Health region.
"The focus of the COVID-19 vaccine program is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, and to address hot spots and reduce transmission everywhere," Henry and Dix said. "Everyone in B.C. who is 18 years and older should register on the Get Vaccinated website or by calling 1-833-838-2323. Once you are in the system, you will be notified when it's your turn to book an appointment to receive your first, or your second, dose of the available vaccine. This applies to all immunization streams, including the pharmacy stream. If you have received your first dose through a pharmacy, you should still register through the Get Vaccinated site to ensure you are notified when it's time to book your second dose."
Currently Northern Health is booking appointments for people aged 56 and older. Booking is expected to be extended to those aged 54 and up by Sunday, 52 and older by Tuesday and everyone 50 and older by Thursday.
Provincially, B.C. saw 740 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. There were a total of 7,886 active cases in B.C., and 511 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 (including 174 in critical care).
Four new COVID-related deaths were reported Friday, bringing British Columbia's death toll from the pandemic to 1,581.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 129,482 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, including 7,163 in the Northern Health region.