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Record-setting 1,013 new COVID-19 cases pushes B.C. over 100K since pandemic began

Today's case count marks the first time B.C. has recorded more than 1,000
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B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

It was a record day for COVID-19 in B.C., and not in a good way.

In a written statement this afternoon (March 31), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 1,013 more tests came back positive for the virus across B.C. during the past 24 hours for a new grand total of 100,048. 

The case count is the first time B.C. has seen more than 1,000 infections in a single day.

Of those infections, Northern Health added 60 to push the authority past a new milestone to 6,004 since March 2020.

There have been three new COVID-linked deaths, which raises the province's toll at 1,458.

There are currently 7,405 active cases throughout B.C. with 301 people in hospital, 80 of which are admitted in ICU or critical care. Another 11,468 are under active public health monitoring due to being exposed to someone diagnosed with the virus.

A total of 91,066 cases are officially classified as recovered. 

Officials say there was a delay in sequencing analysis for variants of concern and the new cases for the past day are unavailable as of this publication. 

Provincially, the COVID-19 immunization program continues to ramp up. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced yesterday (March 30) Indigenous peoples over 18 years old are now eligible to book appointments to receive their first vaccination. 

Others in the province are still asked to only call if you are 73 years and older. 

However, in the lower mainland, those aged 55 to 65 are eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine at local pharmacies starting today as the southern part of the province continues to see hot spots. 

“The AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine is another important tool in our immunization program to get us past this surge of COVID-19 cases," Dr. Henry said in a statement.

"We know from the millions of doses used worldwide, and especially in the U.K., it is highly effective and the benefits to those over age 55 far outweigh the very real risks of getting COVID-19."

On Monday (March 29), the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations in Canada recommended that provinces suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines to those under the age of 55 as rare instances of blood clots have been reported in other parts of the world after receiving the vaccine. 

Those in the Northern Health Authority can book an appointment by calling 1-844-255-7555 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. 

Officials announced on Monday they would be opening more community-wide immunization clinics in select areas for those over the age of 18 in select communities. 

The communities are as follows:

  • Hudson's Hope 
    • Clinic weeks - April 5 and 12, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - March 26
  • Chetwynd
    • Clinic weeks - April 5 and 19, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - March 27
  • Fort St. James
    • Clinic weeks - April 5 and 12, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - March 27
  • Burns Lake
    • Clinic weeks - April 5 and 12, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - March 29
  • Southside
    • Clinic weeks - April 12 and 19, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - March 29
  • Tumbler Ridge
    • Clinic weeks - April 12 and 26, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - April 1
  • Fraser Lake
    • Clinic weeks - April 12 and 19, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - April 2
  • Mackenzie
    • Clinic weeks - April 12 and 19, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - April 4
  • McBride
    • Clinic weeks - April 19 and 26, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - April 5
  • Valemount 
    • Clinic weeks - April 19 and 26, 2021
    • Call in date (18 years and older) - April 5

"The ‘whole community approach to vaccinating residents all at once is due to population size, remoteness, logistics, and/or accessibility," Northern Health says in a statement. 

"These can be expanded to address outbreaks, clusters or high population incidence rates." 

Officials are stressing to only call when you are eligible and residents are asked to check the authority COVID-19 information site for the latest details.

In education, and up-to-date list of northern B.C. schools marked for a COVID-19 exposure event in the month of March, and listed with a self-monitoring period, is as follows:

  • Duchess Park Secondary (SD57) - March 16-17, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 31, 2021
  • Heather Park Elementary - March 17-19, 2021
    • Self-monitoring periods ends April 2, 2021
  • D.P. Todd Secondary (SD57) - March 18-19, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends April 2, 2021
  • Telkwa Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Muheim Memorial Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-1, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Moberly Lake Elementary (SD59) - March 8-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary School (SD52) - March 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • St. Joseph's School (Independent) - March 1-5, 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Spruceland Traditional Elementary (SD57) - March 12, 15-19, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends April 2, 2021
  • St. Joseph's School - Smithers (Independent) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Valemount Secondary (SD57) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary School (SD82) - March 8-9, 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Chief Matthews School (Independent) - March 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Notre Dame School (SD59) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 24, 2021
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) - March 15-17, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 31, 2021
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) - March 10, 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Notre Dame School (SD59) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021 
  • Pacific Coast School (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring ends March 26, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - March 5, 8-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Cassie Hall Elementary (SD82) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring periods ends March 26, 2021
  • William Konkin Elementary (SD91) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Mount Elizabeth Secondary (SD82) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Hazelton Secondary (SD82) - March 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School (SD52) - March 9-11, 2021
    • Sel-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Charles Hays Secondary - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Charles Hays Secondary (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Chief Matthews School (Independent) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Valemount Elementary (SD57) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) - March 8-10, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 24, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary (SD52) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) - March 1-5, 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring periods ends March 22, 2021
  • Dawson Creek Secondary - South Peace campus (SD59) - March 5, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 19, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021

Northern Health's school-exposure section explains the following:

  • Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with
  • We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days
  • Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact
    • Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact
  • Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community