Coquitlam arena is set up for community immunization centre Friday, preparing to open Monday, March 29 for people with appointments to receive COVID-19 vaccine. (Craig Hodge/Facebook)

Coquitlam arena is set up for community immunization centre Friday, preparing to open Monday, March 29 for people with appointments to receive COVID-19 vaccine. (Craig Hodge/Facebook)

Another 908 COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. Friday, nearing record

Rapid rise in new cases, hospitalization holding steady

B.C. recorded 908 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, the highest daily total since last November when new cases peaked at nearly 1,000 a day.

There has been a steady rise in new cases this week, but serious illness has stayed relatively constant, with 294 people in hospital, 81 in intensive care as of Friday. The rest of B.C.’s 6,245 active cases are people recovering in isolation at home. There were three more deaths related to COVID-19 in the 24 hours up to March 26.

The number of people in hospital has hovered near 300 in recent days as new infections have risen, with 556 cases in the 24 hours up to Saturday, 598 to Sunday, 631 to Monday and another 682 on Tuesday, 716 on Wednesday and 800 Thursday. The spread of coronavirus variants is also being tracked.

“Since we last reported, we have had 294 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 438 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 55 in the Island Health region, 43 in the Interior Health region, 78 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Friday.

“There have been 140 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 1,912 cases. Of the total cases, 258 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 1,666 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 47 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 199 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.”

As of Friday, B.C.’s age-based community vaccination program began booking appointments for people aged 74 and up and Indigenous people aged 55 and up. Phone numbers and directions for booking vaccine appointments can be found here.

RELATED: Indoor religious services allowed Sunday, with restrictions

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