Northern Health hits grim COVID-19 milestone

Roughly one per cent of the population of northern B.C. has had COVID-19, after the 76 new cases were reported on Thursday.

As of Thursday, 3,054 of the Northern Health region's approximately 300,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Roughly 1.24 per cent of British Columbians have had COVID since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

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"Despite our COVID-19 curve trending in the right direction, we continue to have new outbreaks, community clusters and high numbers of new cases. COVID-19 continues to spread widely in our communities," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement released on Thursday. "We need to do everything we can to break the chain of transmission. Right now is the time to do that."

Across the province there were 564 new cases of COVID-19, and the number of active cases rose by 105 to 4,450.

"There are 309 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 68 of whom are in intensive care," Henry and Dix said. "There have been 15 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,119 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

None of those 15 deaths were in the Northern Health region, leaving the region's death toll from the pandemic at 54.

The number of active cases and hospitalizations in the Northern Health region wasn't provided. But on Thursday the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 508 active cases in the north, an increase of seven from Wednesday.

A total of 45 people were hospitalized in the Northern Health region with COVID-19, including 18 in critical care.

"To date, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 1,680 of which are second doses," Henry and Dix said.

Of those doses, 5,268 – including 25 second doses – were administered in the Northern Health region, according to the B.C. CDC.

"There is a community cluster in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of the province, in and around Williams Lake," Henry and Dix said. "We remind people to pay close attention to how they are feeling and to immediately arrange to get tested if they are feeling unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. We must all continue to use our safety basics – at work, school, home and in the community. Right now, this is our number 1 means of keeping our communities safe."

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