Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Feb. 26, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on Feb. 26

• Total number of confirmed cases: 79,262 (4,665 active)
• New cases since Feb. 25: 589
• Total deaths: 1,355 (7 new)
• Hospitalized cases: 232
• Intensive care: 63
• Total vaccinations: 252,373 doses, of which 73,808 are second doses.
• Cases under public health monitoring: 8,040
• Recovered: 73,188
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 16


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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

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COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


9:45 p.m. – Fraser Health updates on outbreaks, school exposures of variants

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak over at CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey, while also declaring a new outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital.

Five patients tested positive in a medicine unit at the hospital, which is temporarily closed to admissions. The emergency department remains open.

Meanwhile, three Surrey schools have experienced exposures to a variant of concern: Queen Elizabeth Secondary, Frank Hurt Secondary and M.B. Sanford Elementary.

Staff and students identified as close contacts have been contacted and are getting tested. The schools will remain open, says Fraser Health.

3 p.m. – Health officials announce 589 new cases, and seven additional deaths

On the same day the federal government announced the approval of a new COVID-19 vaccine, another 589 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 79,262 since the start of the pandemic.


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There were seven COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,355 deaths in the province.

The new cases were primarily in the Fraser Health region (317); 157 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 39 in Interior Health, 45 in Northern Health and 31 in Island Health.

There have been no new outbreaks at health-care facilities.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix also welcomed the federal government’s announcement of the approval of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine today.

The viral vector vaccine, produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India, is considered “fridge stable,” making it easier to transport and distribute compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have to be stored in very low temperatures.

“This new vaccine will be integrated into our provincial immunization program as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks,” said Henry and Dix in a joint statement issued Friday afternoon. “The additional supply will allow us to look at accelerating immunization of priority populations and essential workers.”

9 a.m. – Workers at federal quarantine hotel  near Vancouver airport vote to strike

Workers at a federal quarantine hotel for travellers near the Vancouver airport have voted 91 per cent in favour of a strike, according to the union.Unite Here Local 40 says the workers at the The Pacific Gateway Hotel voted to strike after the hotel threatened to terminate workers laid-off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Pacific Gateway Hotel has been contacted for a response to the strike vote.The union claims the hotel refuses to recall their staff when business recovers, and that it has plans to terminate the majority of its workers by the end of March.Picket lines could go up any time after workers issue 72-hour strike notice, the union said Friday morning.


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5 a.m. – Health Canada approves AstraZeneca vaccine

Health Canada has approved the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, the third to be given the green light for national use.

Details of the approval and when Canadians might see doses begin arriving are due at a technical briefing later this morning in Ottawa.

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was co-developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.

It will also receive up to 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX by the end of June.

Vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna had already been approved by Health Canada.

Approximately 1.7 million doses of those formulas have been administered in Canada.

5 a.m. – Some experts believe vaccinating kids could be key 

Vaccinating B.C. kids could be key to putting COVID-19 to bed, according to some experts.

With mass vaccination on the horizon, there are questions about how the province’s youngest residents fit into the plan.

While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not yet approved for use with youths, clinical trials are underway to test their safety and efficacy in children as young as 12, said Fawziah Lalji, a professor in the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of B.C.

“It’s likely that by fall we will have some data on children,” she explained.

That could eventually lead to kids being included in vaccination plans, which will help B.C. get to the 70-per-cent vaccination threshold many believe is needed for herd immunity.


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Lalji said clinical trials typically progress to younger and younger age groups, with adolescents given test vaccines before children in the six-to-12 range, and then those who are younger.

But before the vaccines can be given to kids in B.C., Health Canada must review the data from the pharmaceutical companies and, if they are satisfied with it, change the indication for use to include children.

12 a.m. – More younger people dying in B.C.

Three more people in their thirties have died of COVID-19 in B.C., two of them from the Cowichan Tribes outbreak on Vancouver Island.

On Thursday, the provincial health officer said COVID deaths were falling in long-term care homes, but rising among younger people.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been three deaths in people aged 30-39 over the past few weeks. That adds to the four people in that age group who died in December, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control data.

“We’ve seen hospitalizations in young people and we’ve seen, sadly and tragically, deaths in (three) young people in the last few weeks,” Henry said. “Some with underlying illnesses, and some who were Indigenous people and related to some of the outbreaks that we’re seeing.”

The Cowichan Tribes outbreak started in late December and there has been four deaths among hundreds of reported cases of COVID-19. The first death was in late January, followed by two deaths among young people reported between Feb. 8 and 16 and one death between Feb. 18 to 22.


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12 a.m. – Close to 70,000 British Columbians fully immunized

There were 395 cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day and 10 deaths.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 4,489 active cases of the disease in B.C., of which 228 were being treated in hospital (including 62 in intensive care).

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There have been 68,157 people fully immunized in B.C. with two doses (136,314 doses) and 103,519 people have received one dose.


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

– With files from The Canadian Press


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