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VICTORIA, B.C. – The Northern Health region added 45 cases on Thursday, moving the active case count to 238.

There are 10 people in hospital, nine of whom are in critical care.

There were no COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, keeping the regional total at 269.

Since last March, there have been 18,165 cases recorded in the north, 17,652 of those have since recovered.

Another 1,361 vaccine doses were given Thursday, raising the total dose count to 414,289. Of those, 185,847 are second doses and 26,268 are other doses.

British Columbia added 753 cases on Thursday, raising the active case count to 3,878.

There are 184 people in hospital, 70 of whom are in critical care.

Three COVID-19 deaths were recorded Thursday, raising the provincial total to 2,396.

Out of 224,998 cases since last spring, 218,616 have recovered.

Across B.C., 34,991 vaccine doses were given, raising the total dose count to 9,067,590. Of those, 4,094,293 are second doses and 661,115 are other doses.

As of Thursday, 86.6 per cent of British Columbians five and older have a single dose, and 82.5 per cent have received both doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine.

As of Thursday, there have been 135 cases of the Omicron variant in British Columbia, one of those in the Northern Health region.

Interim B.C. Liberal leader Shirley Bond says government needs to do more to protect British Columbians against the Omicron variant.

She says rapid tests should be distributed so people can test themselves at home, especially before visiting family during the holidays.

“We have a variant now that is much more highly transmissible. We’re in the holiday season. Wouldn’t we assume that the use of rapid tests and expedited booster shots are an important part of managing this new variant?” Bond said.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says rapid tests are being used on people who have been exposed, or who have symptoms. She says they are working on a solution to make rapid tests available to everyone.

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