State reports more than 600 virus cases since Friday

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Doctor Henry says about 50 percent of cases province-wide now involve a variant of concern, primarily B.1.1.7.

Health officials said there are now 368 patients in hospital with COVID-19, up from 332 on Friday, with a record 121 who are in intensive care.

From Friday to Saturday there were 1,283 new cases detected, from Saturday to Sunday there were 1,036, and from Sunday to Monday, there were 970.

Douglas County has a 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate of 88.12 per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 2.4%.

There has been 1,112,101 doses of vaccine administered in B.C., including 87,744 second doses.

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There is no evidence yet that the B.1.351 varient causes increased risks of severe illlness or death, but there is a "moderate reduction" in the immune protection offered by a vaccination or natural infection, according to the VDH.

Monday, 15 more people were reported dead from the coronavirus. Everyone interested in getting vaccinated are encouraged to pre-register ahead of time via the online platform https://hmi.govt.lc/ or at the Community Wellness Centre nearest to you.

"This is, I don't need to say, our third wave, and knowing this, we need to chart our best path forward to manage this wave in British Columbia", Henry said.

This runs parallel to the pharmacy program offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 55 to 65.

That includes in Whistler, where all residents are now eligible to be vaccinated. If you live in North Van, you should not be travelling to Langley or to Richmond. If you live in the Lower Mainland, you should not be traveling to the island. "Only seeing a small number of people from outside your household outside is allowed, but it needs to be done in small ways, and we are discouraging even that, right now". "And we can look towards the summer, when we'll have opportunities to be together again", she said.

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