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B.C. reports 997 cases of COVID-19, sets new record for patients in ICU

B.C. reports 997 cases of COVID-19, sets new record for patients in ICU
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VANCOUVER -- British Columbia reported another 997 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the number of patients battling the disease in intensive care units reached a new record high.

In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced there are now 330 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, including 105 in intensive care.

Another two people have also died from the disease, bringing B.C. s death toll to 1,491.

Health officials have been sounding the alarm about the spread of coronavirus variants of concern, some of which are easier to catch and linked to more severe illness, even in younger age groups.

"Numbers of younger people in hospital have increased and numbers of younger people needing ICU care have increased, and that is concerning," Henry said during her pandemic briefing on Tuesday.

Health officials were unable to provide an update on variant numbers on Wednesday, but said 266 of the 3,766 confirmed variant cases remain active.

The B.1.1.7 variant associated with the U.K. makes up three-quarters of confirmed variant cases, while the P.1 variant associated with Brazil makes up about 23 per cent. The rest involve the B.1.351 variant associated with South Africa.

B.C. has now identified a total of 106,985 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The latest infections pushed the province s active caseload to 8,728, the highest it s been since Christmas Eve.
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