Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)

Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

B.C.’s COVID-19 spread and hospitalizations continued at a similar rate to the past week, with 564 new cases and no new outbreaks in the health care system.

The hospital demand remains similar to recent weeks with 309 people in acute care and 68 in intensive care in the province. There were 15 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in the 24 hours up to Jan. 21.

A community cluster has been declared in the Williams Lake area, which has seen 215 cases since Jan. 1, 74 of them in surrounding Indigenous communities. With nearly 105,000 doses of vaccine delivered and a pause in shipments of Pfizer vaccine until early February, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is set to announce the wider phase of vaccination on Friday.

Thursday’s new cases included 234 in the Fraser Health region, 111 in Vancouver Coastal, 95 in Interior Health (Okanagan and Kootenays), 76 in Northern Health and 47 on Vancouver Island.

There have been no new outbreaks in the health care system, and outbreaks at Ridge Meadows and Vancouver General hospitals, Hart House long-term care in Victoria, Fleetwood Villa in Surrey and Arbutus Care Centre and Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver have been declared over.

RELATED: Cariboo-Chilcotin cluster traced to social events

RELATED: Fernie positive test rate 10-12%, Interior Health says


@tomfletcherbc
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