B.C.’s vaccine rollout has struggled with a massive surge of phone calls, with public health officials asking everyone to be patient and observe the schedule for making appointments by age group. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s vaccine rollout has struggled with a massive surge of phone calls, with public health officials asking everyone to be patient and observe the schedule for making appointments by age group. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

COVID-19 variant cases climb in B.C. as vaccinations continue

182 cases of variant strains among 550 new cases diagnosed

B.C. recorded 550 new cases of COVID-19 infection Tuesday, with 182 of them the “variants of concern” that are being tracked by public health officials.

The surge in variant cases, identified by DNA analysis, began with 144 cases identified over the weekend, with the most in one day Tuesday.

“There have been 182 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 576 cases,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement March 9. “Of the total cases, 113 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 530 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 33 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 13 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.”

B.C.’s coronavirus vaccine program has reached 343,381 as clinics around the province are prepared for the start of mass public vaccination next week. Regional health authorities have started booking appointments for community vaccination clinics due to open March 15. People aged 90 and older in the community, and Indigenous people 65 and over, are making appointments for the first week, with those aged 85 and over to start calling next week.

There were two new COVID-19-related deaths as of Tuesday, one year after the first person died of the novel coronavirus, for a total of 1,393 deaths since the pandemic began. There are 249 people in hospital, 68 in intensive care.

One new health care facility outbreak, with at least one positive test, was reported at Fleetwood Place in Surrey. Outbreaks at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay and Fleetwood Villa in Surrey have been declared over.

“Now, with every new person who is vaccinated, we can take comfort in knowing with each immunization, we all benefit – Elders, seniors, families and communities,” Dix and Henry said. “Let’s keep moving forward and doing our part to put COVID-19 behind us.”

RELATED: Telus adding more call centre agents for vaccine rollout

RELATED: B.C. reports 144 variant COVID-19 cases over weekend


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read