Hospitalizations still trending upwards as province reports 862 new cases, seven deaths

A record high number of people in hospital and requiring critical care was reported on Wednesday

B.C. health officials are reporting 862 new cases of COVID-19 and seven further deaths due to the disease over the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations and those in critical care, both of key concern to the province right now, continue to increase.

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On Wednesday, the province reported 483 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 164 of those requiring critical care in ICUs. Both are the highest figures seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

The province's active case count, however, has dropped some, to 8,906. Another 13,135 people are under active public health monitoring and are required to isolate due to exposure to the virus.

By health region, there were 200 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 557 in Fraser Health, 25 in Vancouver Island Health, 53 in Interior Health and 26 in Northern Health.

The province did not provide an update on variants of concern on Wednesday.

With seven further dead, B.C.'s death toll stands at 1,546.

To date, the province has administered 1,456,946 doses of vaccine — up about 42,000 shots since yesterday — with 88,263 of those being the second of two required doses.

A number of groups are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Those ages 40 and older can currently register to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at a pharmacy. A list is available online.

Other groups include those born in 1958 or earlier, Indigenous people 18 and older and those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable who have received a letter from their doctor.

All B.C. residents eligible to receive a vaccine can register to receive an invitation to book online at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca.

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