Province reports 378 new cases of COVID-19 and seven further deaths over past 24 hours

B.C. health officials are reporting 378 new cases of COVID-19 and seven further deaths due to the disease.

Of the new cases, 68 occurred in the Interior Health region.

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Elsewhere, there were 98 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 189 in Fraser Health, nine in Vancouver Island Health and 14 in Northern Health.

The number of those in hospital continues to decrease, down to 286 on Thursday, with 88 of those patients requiring critical care in ICUs.

Of the seven people who died over the past 24 hours, one person was in their 60s, three in their 70s and three in their 80s or older.

On the vaccine front, B.C. has now administered more than three million vaccines. Thursday's total is 3,032,811 total doses, with 156,730 of those being second doses. This means about 62 per cent of all people in B.C. age 12 and older have received their first dose.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced on Thursday that the vaccine interval would be lowered from 16 weeks to eight weeks, meaning second doses will happen sooner than expected for most people in the province.

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