(from the files of Brendan Pawliw MYPGNow.com staff)

BC reported its highest single-day case count since the pandemic began, as 1,013 new infections were added to the total today (Wednesday).

64 of those were reported in the Interior Health Region and 60 in Northern Health.

There are 7,405 active cases province-wide, with 301 people in the hospital – 80 of which are in ICU.

Three new deaths were reported bringing the death toll to 1,458

To date, 756,080 doses of a vaccine have been administered, including 87,351-second doses.

A sequencing analysis delay has resulted in no variant of concern information for today.

“We all have the same ability to spread the COVID-19 virus – no matter our age. We also know that regardless of where we work or what pre-existing health conditions we may have, the older we are, the higher our risk of severe illness,” said Doctor Bonnie Henry.

“That is why our primary age-based immunization program has started with our oldest and most vulnerable people first. Today, people 73 and older can book their appointments and, in a matter of a couple of weeks, those 65 and older will be eligible.”

Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a letter identifying them as such, can book their vaccine appointments.

“Front-line workers who were to receive AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD remain a priority. Right now, we are waiting on Health Canada’s recommendations to determine what adjustments we may need to make to this immunization stream as a result of the safety signal for those under 55. In the meantime, the current supply of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine is being made available to people between the ages of 55 and 65 on the Lower Mainland – our highest transmission area,” said Henry.

“Tomorrow, as we go into the Easter weekend, expanded visitation in all long-term care facilities throughout the province will get underway. If you are planning to visit your family member or friend, please remember that COVID-19 safety plans must continue to be followed, including wearing masks and staying away if you feel unwell.”

She says no one should be traveling for leisure or vacation right now, as the risk is too great.

“There are three important things to remember about the COVID-19 vaccines. First, everyone will have access to a safe and effective vaccine, and that remains on track to happen before Canada Day. Second, the more people who receive a vaccine, the safer we all are, which is why we are working around the clock to get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible,” she added.

“Third, we don’t yet have enough people protected through the vaccines to be able to put aside any of our safety precautions, so we need to continue to follow all the public health orders and guidelines we have in place.”