COVID-19: 1,001 new cases, four deaths as new travel restrictions come into effect

Health officials encouraged British Columbians to stick closer to home and to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

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Hospitalizations and new cases of COVID-19 remained stubbornly high on Friday, as B.C. ordered new travel restrictions to discourage non-essential travel.

On Friday, the province reported 1,001 new coronavirus cases, bringing the number of active cases to 8,842. Of the active cases, 486 are in hospital, including 160 patients in intensive care.

Four people died from the virus in the 24-hour reporting period, nudging the death toll to 1,554 since the start of the pandemic.

Of the new cases, 626 were in the Fraser Health region and 215 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. Vancouver Island Health  had 26 new cases, Interior Health, 93, and Northern Health, 39. There were two cases in people who normally reside outside Canada.

Health officials encouraged British Columbians to stick closer to home and to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

“The message remains the same — by staying in our local communities, we will prevent the spread of this virus and move forward together to a time when it is behind us,” said health minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry in a joint statement.

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The new health orders prohibit non-essential travel between three zones — a combined zone for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, another one for the Northern/Interior regions and a third for Vancouver Island health region. One exception is that Hope, served by Fraser Health, will be lumped in with Northern/Interior health. Also, that area of the Central Coast served by Vancouver Coastal Health will be lumped in the Northern/Interior Health.

On Friday, B.C. opened up registration in the age-based vaccination stream to all British Columbians age 18 and older. The actual date for an appointment will vary depending on age and vaccine supply.

Currently, British Columbians age 60 and older are being booked vaccination appointments.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan


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