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 March 20, 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 March 19:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 90,786 (5,207 active)
• New cases since March 18: 737
• Total deaths: 1,421 (two new)
• Hospitalized cases: 292
• Intensive care: 85
• Total vaccinations: 402,883 people are immunized; of those, 87,139 have received a second dose
• Cases under public health monitoring: 9,412
• Recovered: 84,078
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 13


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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


5 a.m. – U.K. COVID-19 variant replacing existing virus in B.C., accounts for 12 per cent of new cases

The U.K. coronavirus variant of concern is slowly replacing the existing dominant strain in B.C. but hasn’t so far shown rapid growth, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The U.K. variant, referred to as B.1.1.7, which can spread more easily and potentially cause more serious illness, now accounts for about 12 per cent of new tested cases, according to Henry.

On Friday, another 68 new confirmed variant cases were announced for a total of 483 cases in the last seven days. Variant cases have been ramping up significantly in the past several weeks — and a total of 1,200 variant cases have been identified using genome sequencing. Of the total, 1,094 are the U.K. variant, 65 cases are the Brazil variant (P.1) and 41 cases are the South Africa variant (B.1.351).


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Also on Friday, officials reported 737 new cases of regular COVID-19, the most since Jan. 7, and two new deaths. The seven-day average of new cases, 559, was also the highest since Jan. 12. There are 5,207 active cases.

Said Henry about the variant cases this week: “What we are watching very carefully is — are we seeing the variants drive transmission? Or are we just seeing it replace the viruses that were circulating previously? And what we’ve learned over these last couple of weeks, is that it is mostly replacement.”

“But that’s not to say that is not going to change if we’re not careful … We do know we have to be more meticulous about preventing transmission because this one tends to be easier for somebody to spread it to others,” added Henry.

12 a.m.– Friday marks second highest daily total of new COVID-19 cases since start of 2021

Officials reported 737 new cases of COVID-19 across British Columbia, marking the second highest daily total since the start of 2021.

On Jan. 7, a total of 761 cases of COVID-19 were reported, just 24 cases more than what was reported on Friday.

To date, there have been 90,786 cases in B.C. since the start of the pandemic last year. Of those, 5,207 are still active, while 84,078 have recovered.

A total of 9,412 people are still under public health monitoring following exposure to a positive case, and 292 people remain in hospital, of which 85 are in intensive care.

Of the new cases reported Friday, 68 are variants of concern, bringing the total of variant cases reported up to 1,200, to date. Of the total reported cases, 149 are active and the rest have recovered.


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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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