Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)

B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

B.C. recorded 634 more cases of COVID-19 Friday, including four additional cases of the U.K. and South Africa variants being tracked by public health officials.

That’s an increase from 564 new cases reported Thursday, and about half of the new cases continue to be located in the Fraser Health region. There were four additional deaths in the 24 hours up to March 5, and one new health care facility outbreak at Holmberg House Hospice in Abbotsford.

B.C. currently has six active outbreaks in long-term care facilities, Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay, Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert, Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops, the Florentine in Merritt, Shaughnessy Care Centre 2 in Port Coquitlam and Royal City Manor 2 in New Westminster.

One assisted living facility, Fleetwood Village 3 in Surrey, and three outbreaks in independent living, including Revera Sunwood Retirement Community in Maple Ridge, which had 19 cases as of Thursday. The others are Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence in Mission, with one resident who has tested positive, and Chartwell Hampton House in Chilliwack, with six cases.

RELATED: B.C. seniors 90+ get vaccine appointments starting March 8

RELATED: B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have had only two positives

“This has been a week of progress in our COVID-19 response, as we ready our province to begin our age-based immunizations and integrate the AstraZeneca-SII vaccine into our program,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement. “Building on this momentum, the federal government approved a fourth COVID-19 vaccine today. The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine is another tool in our immunization program that will help accelerate protection of people throughout our province.”

Starting on Monday, health authorities will begin making vaccine appointment bookings for people over 90 and Indigenous people over 65 will get underway, with appointments available in communities province-wide.

“We ask that anyone outside of this age group waits to call until their registration window begins,” Dix and Henry said. “Regular updates will be provided to ensure everyone has the latest registration information.”


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