Pharmacist Mario Linaksita, right, administers the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Donna Tangye, 59, at University Pharmacy, in Vancouver, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Residents between the ages of 55 and 65 in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions were able to book appointments to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after B.C. enlisted 150 pharmacies to distribute 13,500 doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Pharmacist Mario Linaksita, right, administers the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Donna Tangye, 59, at University Pharmacy, in Vancouver, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Residents between the ages of 55 and 65 in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions were able to book appointments to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after B.C. enlisted 150 pharmacies to distribute 13,500 doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s COVID-19 cases dip below 1,000 for Sunday, Monday

Another 916 variant virus infections identified since April 1

B.C. recorded 890 COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours up to Monday, and 999 on Easter Sunday as the province’s highest infection rate so far in the pandemic, with a surge in variant cases continuing to worry public health officials.

B.C.’s COVID-19 daily cases broke topped 1,000 for the first time March 31 with 1,031 new confirmed tests, followed by 1,018 up to April 2 and 1,072 on Saturday, April 3. It’s the second spike in daily cases for B.C. after last October and November, when infection spread as people’s activities moved inside with the onset of winter weather, but that spike never reached the 1,000-a-day mark.

The province also recorded 23 additional COVID-19-related deaths in the four days since April 1. There are 318 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions, 96 of them in intensive care.

“Since we last reported, we have had 579 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 986 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 100 in the Island Health region, 129 in the Interior Health region, 95 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 April 5.

“Since April 1, there have been 916 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 3,559 cases (588 are active). This includes 2,771 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 737 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.”

B.C. is opening a province-wide online and phone booking system Tuesday to guide its mass vaccination program for COVID-19.

The online portal and a provincial call centre at 1-833–838-2323, open April 6 at 8 a.m. Age-based bookings for people born in 1950 or earlier, Indigenous people 18 and older and clinically vulnerable people who have received notification letters are eligible.

“We’re asking people who are close to being able to book to register tomorrow,” Dix told reporters April 5.

There are three steps for online booking: Register when it is your turn and receive a confirmation code, book a vaccine appointment when you get an email, text or phone call confirming your eligibility by age, and then visit a vaccine clinic to get your shot. Web links and phone numbers are in the story linked below.

RELATED: Online vaccination booking opens B.C.-wide Tuesday

RELATED: B.C. tourism businesses hoping to ‘save summer’


@tomfletcherbc
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