B.C.’s top health officials are giving a last-minute COVID-19 briefing Thursday alongside the chief medical officer for one region that’s seen an alarming surge in cases.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be joined by Dr. Jong Kim of the Northern Health Authority. They’re all expected to speak about the COVID-19 situation in the northern part of the province.
CTVNewsVancouver.ca is streaming the news conference LIVE @ 3:15 p.m.
Typically, health officials have only been holding COVID-19 briefings on Tuesdays in recent months and Thursday’s update was announced publicly just hours before it’s scheduled to begin.
On a per-capita basis, Northern Health continues to have the highest rate of infection in the province by a wide margin. As a result, there are already regional health measures in place, but more may be needed, Henry hinted during a news conference Tuesday.
“COVID-19 is spreading at a higher than average rate, people are becoming severely ill, even young people – mostly unvaccinated young people – and hospitals are pushed to the limit across the north,” she said.
Infection rates have been so high in Northern Health that local hospitals have been overwhelmed. So far, 55 patients have been transferred to hospitals in other health authorities, Dix said in the Tuesday news conference.
Dix said 43 of the 55 are COVID-19 patients, and 42 of them aren’t fully vaccinated.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Tessa Vikander