Province reports 18 deaths, 617 new cases of COVID-19

Interior Health accounts for 81 of the new cases reported on Friday

There have been 18 deaths due to COVID-19 and 617 new cases, according to the latest report from B.C. health officials.

The province's active case count, however, continues to decline, now with 6,118 active cases.

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In hospital, there are now 358 patients across B.C., with 75 in critical care.

Interior Health accounts for 81 of the new cases. Elsewhere in the province, there were 139 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 320 in Fraser Health, 27 in Vancouver Island Health, 49 in Northern Health and one new case in a person who lives outside Canada.

Another 8,755 people are under active public health monitoring due to exposure to confirmed cases.

Of the province's 56,632 cases since the pandemic began, 48,205 have recovered and 988 have died.

On the vaccine front, 46,259 people have now received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Update from Interior Health

Interior Health CEO Susan Brown says the region has seen three more deaths due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.

All occurred in long-term care homes, according to Brown. The death toll in the Interior Health region now stands at 38.

Vaccinations continue at long-term care homes in the region, with resident vaccinations now underway, the health authority says.

Ten outbreaks continue in Interior Health, nine of which are in long-term care homes.

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