Province reports 697 new cases, one further death due to COVID-19

Pregnant women and those born in 1969 or earlier now eligible to book COVID-19 vaccine

B.C. health officials are reporting 697 new cases of COVID-19 and one further death due to the disease.

Of the new cases, 65 occurred in the Interior Health region.

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Elsewhere, there were 152 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 456 in Fraser Health, 19 in Island Health, 14 in Northern Health and one new case in a non-resident of Canada.

Hospitalization numbers remain elevated, reported at 486 on Tuesday, with 173 of those patients requiring critical care in ICUs.

There are currently 7,161 active cases in B.C., with another 10,961 being monitored by public health due to exposure to confirmed cases.

To date, 123,383 people have recovered out of the province's total 132,353 cases. There have been 1,597 deaths to date.

On the vaccine front, 1,910,162 doses have now been put in the arms of British Columbians. Of those, 92,244 are second doses.

All pregnant women age 16 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To do so, you must register online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated and then notify the province you are pregnant by calling 1-833-838-2323.

"We have reviewed the data here in B.C. and this shows pregnant people experience severe illness from COVID-19 at a rate that is similar to people who are in their 50s. By prioritizing pregnant people today, we add another layer of protection for them, their babies and their communities," wrote Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in a prepared statement.

The province is currently booking appointments for those born in 1969 or earlier (age 52 and older). Other eligible groups include those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable, and Indigenous people age 18 and older.

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