COVID deaths rise to 129 in Northern Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another life in the Northern Health, raising the total for the region to 129 since the pandemic broke out according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control numbers issued Wednesday.

It was one of two deaths for the province for which the total rose to 1,491.

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Officials reported 997 new cases, of which 465 were in Fraser, 356 in Vancouver Coastal, 

91 in Interior,  67 in Island and 18 in Northern.

Active cases stood at 8,728 for B.C., up 57 from the previous day, with 266 from variants of concern. 

Of the total, 4,410 were in Fraser Health, 3,109 in Vancouver Coastal, 717 in Interior, 543 in Island, 300 in Northern and nine from out of country. The total for Northern was down by 40 from Tuesday.

Hospitalizations stood at 330 for B.C. with 105 in intensive care. In Northern Health, 33 were hospitalized and 11 in intensive care, roughly steady from previous days.

To date, 946,096 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,504 of which are second doses. 

"This is almost 20 per cent of those who are eligible for a vaccine in B.C.," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement.

They said the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations confirmed that up to 16 weeks between doses provides for the greatest level of community-wide protection.

"We know that no matter what mutation may be prevalent, following all of the public health orders and using all of our layers of protection - without exception - is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe," Dix and Henry said.

"We all have a choice - to bend the rules, or do our part to flatten our curve. No matter how tired of this pandemic we may be, let's make the right choice today."

The Opposition B.C. Liberals had called Wednesday for more detail in the reporting. 

Also on Wednesday, the provincial government said pubs and restaurants will be allowed to package draught beer in growlers for sale with meals until June 6 as part of the three-week ban on indoor dining.


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