(Files by Dione Wearmouth-MyPGNow)

The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed the lives of 988 people in BC since the pandemic began.

There were three more in Interior Health announced today, two at an assisted living facility in Vernon and one at a retirement home in West Kelowna.

38 people have now died in Interior Health.

BC Health officials confirmed 617 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in BC today, a total that includes 81 new cases in Interior Health and 49 in Northern Health.

There are 438 currently active cases in the North.

There are 6,118 active cases in BC with 358 individuals currently hospitalized; 75 of whom are in ICU.

Currently, 8,755 people are under active public health monitoring in the province.

With 48,205 people recovered, the provincial recovery rate is now 85%.

18 more people passed away in BC as the provincial death toll is now 988.

To date, 46,259 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in BC.

“Most British Columbians have been doing their part, and we know it is frustrating when a few people put so many others at risk,” said Dr.Bonnie Henry, “Despite this, it is important to know your sustained efforts are saving lives.”

BREAKDOWN:

Northern Health: +49  (Total 2,387)

Interior Health:  + 81 (Total 4,487)

Vancouver Coastal Health: +139 (Total 13,025)

Fraser Health: +320 (Total 35,161)

Island Health: +27 (Total 1,079)