Provincial Health Officer, Dr.Bonnie Henry says identifying where COVID-19 Variant of Concern (VOC) has been an issue for about 25% of the identified VOC cases.

However, Henry confirmed Northern Health has not yet seen a VOC yet, as most of them are being identified in the Lower Mainland.

There is 16 active COVID-19 VOC cases after 46 new were identified today.

Northern Health saw 46 of the 564 total new cases of COVID-19 in BC, accounting for about 8% of the new cases.

The region now has 269 active cases, while 22 people are in hospital with 13 in ICU.

4,347 people have recovered in the North, keeping the recovery rate at 92%

Across the province, there are now 4,743 active cases with 448 people battling the virus in the hospital; 63 of whom are in ICU.

76,289 people have recovered and currently, 8,659 people are under active public health monitoring.

4 more people have died in BC, 2 of those deaths were confirmed to be people battling a VOC case, BC’s death toll is now 1,376.

Henry also noted that the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines will be arriving next week, and will be given to First Responders and other essential workers.

Health officials will also be using point-of-care rapid testing to support contact tracing.

“While less reliable than the highly effective polymerase chain reaction tests used in our labs, point-of-care tests will continue to be used as part of public health outbreak response in rural and remote communities and at some worksites and community living locations,” explained Henry.

Breakdown by Region:

Northern: 4,344 (+46)

Interior: 7,521 (+36)

Vancouver: 18,461 (+168)

Fraser: 48,381 (279)

Vancouver Island: 2,484 (+35)